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Sri Lanka: Halal certificates to be issued by HAC from today

The Halal Compliance Certification for Sri Lankan industries will now be issued by the Halal Accreditation Council (Guarantee) Ltd from today.

Sri Lanka: Halal certification to continue

Halal compliance certification for Sri Lankan industries will now be issued by the Halal Accreditation Council (Guarantee) Ltd., (HAC) effective from January 1st 2014. The company is set up under the Sri Lanka Companies Act No 7 of 2007, and has accreditation in 27 countries as of now.

“Halal compliance certification is an important part of doing business in the world today, and as such Sri Lankan Companies gearing their products to the export market, would find that this is an international standard that has to be followed, in order to do business in some key markets across the world. Therefore, HAC will meet a commercial requirement as this certification is like any other compliance standard, such as SLS or ISO,” says Ali Fatharally, CEO of HAC.

The compliance certification is a very thorough process to assure required standards for a wide range of industries which include FMCG, healthcare, pharmaceutical, etc., and HAC has a qualified technical team to handle the scientific process behind this compliance certification.

“All our internal processors are transparent and audited by reputed international firms” says the CEO.

HAC is primarily, a not for profit organization which is founded and managed by some of Sri Lanka’s top professionals who assures the country’s business community that international best practices will be maintained in Halal certification, whilst  keeping within the guidelines.

“We can’t go beyond the fact that even though this certification has scientific and commercial implications, it is also based on religious and cultural principles. This certification is to ensure that consumers’ right of choice for Halal compliant products and services is facilitated in a responsible manner. One must also take into consideration a large international consumption market where Sri Lankan produce can be sold with such certification. It is a fact that there are close on 2 billion Muslims over the world who would exclusively buy Halal certified products” says Ali Fatharally.

According to global research firm AT Kearney, the global Halal market is estimated at US$ 2 trillion, making it one of the fastest growing consumer segments in the world. This comprises of 67% of Food & Beverage, 22% of pharmaceuticals and 10% personal care and cosmetics.

“There is a high demand from commercial establishments in the country for this compliance certification. Already, 195 Sri Lankan companies, catering to both local and international markets, have requested HAC for certification and we are now auditing their manufacturing standards. HAC plans to speed up the process so that there will not be any impediments placed in the path of regular commerce in Sri Lanka,” says Ali Fatharally, CEO of HAC.

Halal compliance certification involves in depth auditing and monitoring and since it deals with various manufactories’, there is a team of trained technicians, food technologists and supervisors spread across the country to monitor compliance.  However HAC is also specific that this accreditation is not a ‘must’ for local commerce.

“This certification is not forced upon anybody and HAC was established to cater to a national need and as far as we are concerned, there is no compulsion for any business to be Halal compliant. Also as much as we say we are a not for profit organisation, it does not mean our services are gratis. We employ a large number of professionals to ensure that best practices are maintained in this certification process. And therefore have to meet the cost in supporting the mechanism we have put in place” says the CEO of HAC.

(courtesy of adaderana news web)

BBS planning to re-launch Halal campaign

Reacting to a statement by the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) that it would stop issuing Halal certificates, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organisation said today that though they respect the right of Muslims to consume Halal products it should not be enforced on others.

BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaathe Ganasara Thera told a news conference that they had no objection with the Halal logo being used on export products through the Sri Lankan Standards Institution (SLS), International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or through the Chamber of Commerce instead of those powers being vested in a company or on any other religious organisation.

The BBS said it was planning to re-launch the campaign against the enforcement of Halal products on those belonging to other religions.

“This new move by the ACJU proves that so far they have hoodwinked the public and the authorities as we believe that this new ‘unidentified company’ to be another part of the ACJU dressed in a different garb. So we are going to intervene in this matter.

Although Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa assured that Halal products would not be enforced on others, practically this scheme has failed and we believe that the Defence Ministry has been misled by the ACJU,” the Thera said.

He said the ACJU was trying to create separatism while implementing the Shariya law in Sri Lanka through the Halal certification process. (Jayashika Padmasiri & Ajith Siriwardana)

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