Emirati minister appointed chairman of International Halal Accreditation Forum

DUBAI, 28th November, 2016 (WAM)– Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA), was appointed as chairman of the International Halal Accreditation Forum, IHAF, during the Forum’s first General Assembly meeting, convened recently in Dubai to set in motion the official activation of the world’s first global Halal accreditation network.

Mohammed Saleh Badri was also officially appointed as the secretary-general of IHAF. Badri was selected based on his extensive experience in the field of accreditation and conformity assessment including his previous role as the director-general of the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA).

A number of committee appointments were announced during the meeting. Kylie Sheehan, General Manager Operations at Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand, was appointed as chairperson of the technical affairs committee.

Brahim Houla, Accreditation Services Manager at GCC Accreditation Centre, will serve as chairperson of multi-lateral recognition arrangement committee. Amina Mohammed Hassan of the Emirates National Accreditation System (ENAS) was appointed as chairperson of marketing and media committee.

The Assembly also approved a number of resolutions including a recommendation for IHAF to forge a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC) and International Accreditation Forum (IAF) in order to explore collaboration in maintaining global standards in Halal conformity assessments.

This will play a vital role as the membership application of interested Halal accreditation bodies can be supported by their existing membership in ILAC and IAF.

Halal accreditation bodies monitor the entities involved in testing, certifying and verifying Halal products, ensuring that all standards are enforced to give assurance to the consumers that each Halal product is safe, of high quality and full compliance with the Islamic Sharia. IHAF, on the other hand, will ensure that these Halal accreditation bodies strictly and consistently adhere to the principles of Islamic law.

“The first-ever General Assembly meeting of IHAF is a historic event that would serve as a vital pillar of the Islamic economy. This Forum would contribute to further spur growth in the Halal industry as the latest official reports indicate that the global market for Halal products is growing rapidly,” Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad said.

Bin Fahad estimated the size of the market and trade in Halal products at more than US$1.9 trillion (AED6.97 trillion) in 2015, and is expected to rise to $3 trillion in 2021 (AED11.01 trillion), with food and beverages accounting for more than 60 per cent.

“We will continue to bring more and more international partners on board, ensuring exchange of expertise and creating a vivid standard for the Halal industry in various parts of the world. This would enhance co-operation amongst various stakeholders, and enable them to better understand and implement Halal standards for food and non-food products,” Mohammed Saleh Badri, Secretary-General of IHAF, said.