Major Halal food events open in Sharjah
Sharjah, December 10, 2012
Halal Food Middle East and the Halal Congress Middle East, which aim to showcase the $2.77 trillion global halal industry that is growing exponentially at 20 per cent annually, opened today in Sharjah.
The Halal Food Middle East, which will run until December 12 at Expo Centre Sharjah, was inaugurated by Sheikh Saqr Bin Mohammed Bin Khalid Al Qassimi, chairman of Sharjah Department of Islamic Affairs. The Halal Congress Middle East will be held on December 11 and 12 at the same venue.
A talking point at the opening ceremony was the selection of UAE’s Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) by OIC to chair the Halal food technical committee, which was seen as a global high point for the country and the regional Halal industry. The exhibition is showcasing more than 90 exhibitors from 26 countries.
“Halal food and food products have special significance to Muslims. Therefore, the issue of verifying the compatibility of food and food products with relevant Islamic rules has been in focus for decades,” said Dr Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, UAE Minister of Environment and Water.
“The UAE has emerged has a major player in the global Halal trade, given its diverse population that is mainly Muslim and proximity to several countries with large Muslim inhabitants such as those in the Indian sub-continent and the CIS,” said Ahmed Mohammed Al Midfa, director-general, Expo Centre Sharjah.
“The UAE also serves as a re-export hub to the rest of the region, underscoring the importance of show as a premier sourcing platform and the necessity to draw up a common certification standard.”
“The growing demand for quality Halal products from the region presents an opportunity as well as a challenge to the global Halal industry,” said Al Midfa.
“The region is crucial for the industry as it imports between 80 and 90 per cent of its food requirements. Fresh meats continue to be undersupplied in the Middle East as well as in other Muslim majority countries. The Halal Food ME together with the Halal Congress ME will help the industry capitalize on these opportunities.”
Special pavilions at the show will include that of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, IFANCA, Halal Italia and IMP Malaysia.
Billed as a one-stop platform for facilitating and sourcing the sale and purchase of food and related products that conform to Halal requirements, the show has local retail major Sharjah Cooperative Society as its Platinum Sponsor.
Being held under the theme ‘Global standard for quality, hygiene and safety’, the inaugural Halal Congress Middle East have brought together leading Halal experts, scientists and promoters from all over the world.
“Halal Congress Middle East will be the perfect complement to the Halal Food Middle East and project them as one of the most comprehensive events of its kind,” said Asad Sajjad, CEO of Halal Development Council and Co-Organizer of the Halal Congress Middle East.
“Halal Congress ME is a premier gathering of food producers, exporters & importers, dealers and distributors and industry stalwarts from Halal hotspots of the world. At the congress, they will share up-to-date information on Halal products; discuss issues facing the industry; explore opportunities that exist is each others’ markets; evaluate compliance, certification and standards; and look out for investment and joint venture opportunities in the UAE,” said Sajjad.
The congress will feature five technical sessions, with each session being hosted by most respected personalities in their sphere of activities.
The sessions will cover Halal overview and opportunities in the US, South Africa and India; Halal Standards; Halal food; Halal cosmetics & pharmaceuticals; and Halal trade promotion.
The sub-topics will include common mistakes practiced by international Halal certification bodies; developing a global Halal standardization system; role of national, regional and international standardization bodies and potential of UAE in European Halal market, among others.
Delegates from 31 countries have confirmed their attendance, while halal experts, scientists and scholars from 12 countries will make presentations and read out their papers during the two-day congress. – TradeArabia News Service
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