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The global halal market – mostly catering to Muslims but also attracting those who prefer thoroughly inspected products – currently stands at $7 trillion, Turkish sector officials said Thursday but added that Turkey needs to do more to acquire its fair share of the market.

“Projects in this field gained a different momentum with Turkey’s entry into the field,” World Halal Union head Ahmet Gelir said.

The field includes many sectors such as cosmetics, chemicals and cleaning products, agricultural products, food, energy, tourism and finance.

As world trade develops and the number of manufacturers entering the market increases, the demand for certificates that inform consumers if the product is halal is also increasing. “Halal certification” studies covering areas such as food, cosmetics, medicine, finance and tourism also attract the attention of Western standards and certification bodies due to the size of the market.

Indicating that the first studies on halal standards started in the 2000s, Gelir said: “It has started for the first time in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Far East to ensure food safety and gained a different momentum with Turkey’s involvement.”

The Standards and Metrology Institute for the Islamic Countries (SMIIC), which is a sound mechanism for harmonization of standards among the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries, was also established in Istanbul under the leadership of the country.

Ahmet Gelir

Gelir said now some 1.86 billion Muslims in 57 Islamic countries and their communities in other parts of the world have clear information about what they are producing and consuming.

“Organizations like ours give confidence to the consumer with accurate and fast inspection,” he said.

He noted that the halal inspection provides a third eye that ensures that the products are tracked impartially from their origins and thus the orientation of a “halal certificate” is generally defined by consumer demand, which means that “the system, supply and demand are well-managed.”

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