Food & Beverage

Philippines keen on exporting halal food products

images-2The Philippines is laying down the groundwork to enable local producers to tap the lucrative global halal food market, an official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said.

Science Undersecretary Carol Yorobe said there is a “concerted effort” to make local producers halal-compliant. Yorobe said the DOST funded the construction of a P100-million laboratory, which is capable of enabling producers meet stringent international standards for halal certification.

Dr. Haja Zenaida Abdul Raof Laidan, regional director of the DOST, also said in a recent forum that the country has also set its sights on taking advantage of the market for halal-compliant non-food products.

“Halal also includes logistics, information and communications technology, travel and tour services, banking and finance, and other service-oriented commerce, health and beauty and even textile products,” Laidan said.

She noted that halal-certified food products have penetrated major markets, such as Australia, the United Kingdom and Singapore. She  said this is due to the quality of halal-certified products and assurance of its safety.

Halal food and non-food products are those that are lawful or permissible under Islamic law.

Pigs and their by-products, dogs, snakes, monkeys, disease-carrying animals and carnivorous animals with claws and fangs are not allowed to be eaten by Muslims.

Also prohibited are animals that were improperly slaughtered, blood and by-products, and alcohol.

More than the religious overtures, Laidan said halal food is growing in acceptance worldwide because of the prohibition of raising and killing animals under inhumane conditions. She said even feeds consumed by animals should not contain unnatural products, which can be harmful to humans.

“The process of certification is very strict because even the use of transport ,which can be contaminated with other non-halal animals or products, is prohibited,” Yorobe said.

Earlier, travel agents belonging to the Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) said local entrepreneurs should support the government’s campaign to attract 10 million foreign visitors annually by catering to the demands of Muslim tourists for halal-certified foods and restaurants.

PTAA President John Paul Cabalza said the Philippines lacks mid- to high-end restaurants that serve halal-certified dishes, which diminishes the country’s chances of attracting high spending Muslim tourists worldwide.

Source: Business Mirror

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