DHAKA: Bangladesh is poised for growth in its halal food industry, the country’s apex trade body said on Tuesday, as it joined the International Islamic Food Processing Association.
Headquartered in the UAE, the IFPA works under the Islamic Organization for Food Security to promote trade and investment between agriculture and food sector businesses across the Organization of Islamic Cooperation member states.
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry signed a joining agreement with the association in Dhaka on Monday.
Mohammad Amin Helali, senior vice president of the FBCCI, told Arab News that membership in the organization will help Bangladeshi businesses enter the global halal food market, which is estimated to be worth almost $2 trillion and expected to at least double in the next five years.
“Nowadays, the halal food concept is earning popularity among consumers worldwide ... halal means safe food. It’s free from any toxic elements, and that’s why it is being recognized by the world,” Helali said.
“Our businesses, which work with halal and safe food, will have opportunities to grow further through receiving financial support like loans, grants, etc. It will keep us updated on the latest guidelines regarding halal food from the Islamic perspective.”
Bangladesh’s Standard and Testing Institution is already approved by the Islamic Organization for Food Security — a food and agriculture organization and one of the eight specialized institutions of the OIC — to certify halal food products in Bangladesh.
The country’s ability to meet IFPA standards is expected to further boost its competitiveness in the market.
Food that is halal is food that is permissible under Islamic law, but the halal food market worldwide, especially in meat, is still dominated by non-OIC countries.
“At present, India and Brazil are selling halal meat, although these are not Muslim countries. So, if we can meet the standards of halal food set by IFPA, we will definitely have better chances to grab the international market,” Helali said.
“Our producers will be able to maintain compliance with halal food production (rules), which will eventually boost our presence in the international halal food market, including in Middle Eastern countries.”