By Hasan Bozkurt
Turkish food companies have shown strong interest in getting a higher share of the world halal food market, whose value is estimated at $2 trillion per annum, as the Turkish Standards Institute (TSE) received more than 20 applications from food companies to get a “halal certificate,” proof that their meat is cut in accordance with Islamic teachings.
The importance of halal products has been growing in recent years, and halal products are in high demand worldwide. Turkey lacked a certification system until only recently as the Food Auditing and Certification Research Association (GİMDES) became the first body to issue halal certificates in Turkey. The TSE announced in June that it would start issuing halal certificates this fall. According to the TSE, interest from Turkish food companies, mainly meat producers, is high as more than 20 applications for a halal certificate from the TSE came in last month.
A TSE official who wished to remain anonymous told Today’s Zaman on Thursday that they have listed the companies according to their application date and started to visit and control the meat production facilities with a professional team to check whether the preparation procedures of foods are in compliance with halal standards. In addition, halal standards apply to the packaging, labeling, transportation and logistics of products.
Moreover, the official also said the institution has sent letters to red and white meat producers, stating that halal certificates will be necessary to export to Iraq and that Turkish food companies should be sensitive to this issue as a multi-billion market could be lost without the certificate.