Recognizing the potential of the $150-billion global Halal market, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is planning to improve its promotion of Halal products by upgrading the number and capabilities of Halal coordinators in the country.
Halal products are goods which are allowed to be consumed by Muslims. The promotion of Halal products in the global market is part of the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) 2008 to 2010.
A training seminar was recently held by the DTI in Zamboanga City, which was designed to equip regional and head office personnel with knowledge and skills to handle coordination of Halal activities in respective jurisdictions. Those who took part in the session will act as Halal coordinators.
Some 33 participants benefited from the training, which include DTI officials in Caraga, Calabarzon, Western Visayas, Zamboanga peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, Socsksargen, National Capital Region, Cordillera Autonomous Region, the Bureau of Export Trade Promotion, the Philippine Trade Training Center, the Bureau of Product Standards, the Bureau of Domestic Trade, the Bureau of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development, and the Ofice of Legal Affairs.
DTI said the functions of Halal coordinators range from the coordination of seminars and workshops, to linking food firms with Halal certifiers, to coordination of particpation in trade fairs, to providing Halal consultations.
They are also expected to understand the Philippine National Standard (PNS) 2067:2008, which provides general guidelines on the preparation and handling of Halal food, and is a fundamental requirement of food products and trade in the country. The PNS 2067:2008 should be used with acceptable food systems such as the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point and the Good Manufacturing Practice.
Around 1.6 billion consumers in 112 countries are said to comprise the global Halal market, with the biggest concentration of Muslim consumers in Indonesia (212 million), Pakistan (158 million), Bangladesh (127 million), Egypt (69 million), Iran (67 million), Turkey (66 million), and Nigeria (64 million).
On the other hand, non-Muslim countries with sizable Muslim populations include India (174 million), China (38 million), Russia (11 million), US (7 million), Philippines (5 million), and Thailand (4.5 million).