The Arabic word Halal translates to “permissible” in English, usually associated to products and foods. For Muslims, food is an important part of daily life, not only linked to survival but to good health and Islamic beliefs; thereby Halal food follows Islamic rules. Halal food is not only important for Islam, the second largest religion in the world, but also for non-Muslims.
Over the past years, it has gained popularity among non-Muslims, as Halal food stands for food safety, hygiene and reliability. In this connection, the National Food Institute (NFI) of Thailand with financial support from WAITRO and the SME Bank of Thailand organized a Capacity Building on the Development of Halal Food Production Standard.
This program aimed at supporting the halal production of SMEs with quality standards in compliance with the Islamic rules and regulations. Specific goals were:
- promoting halal products in international recognitions;
- providing a high level of professional advice through training and awareness on halal related matters;
- bonding relationship between middle management/organization leaders who have the roles in food industry from each country;
- and strengthening relationships among the member organizations, who have roles and involvement in the food industry.
This Capacity Development Program was held at Al Meroze Hotel in Bangkok, first Halal-certified hotel in Thailand, and consisted of two parts. The first part included a five-day seminar, led by experienced speakers from SIRIM Berhad (Malaysia), TUBITAK (Turkey), the Central Islamic Council of Thailand (Thailand), National Food Institute (Thailand) and the Royal Scientific Society (Jordan).
This workshop focused on halal food production in compliance with the Islamic rules and food safety standards, exchanging valuable information on the rules and regulations of halal food import and export. The second part involved the implementation of the previous workshop, including factory visits, market survey and related documents management. The trainees could gain knowledge, comprehend and enjoy a well-designed learning atmosphere.
Fifteen participants from eight countries had the opportunity to experience and share information about Halal Food Production. Among them were experts from government, non-government and private sectors from Cameroon, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Turkey. The outcomes of this program contributed to the Sustainable Development Goals: No Hunger and Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.