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Monday, November 30, 2015

Halal "Nonsense"

Local halal exports hit wall in Middle East
June 1, 2006

Local halal exports hit wall in Middle East

Food that has been certified in Thailand as halal, for consumption by Muslims, has been banned by some Islamic countries due mainly to a perception by consumers in those countries that Thai halal standards are unreliable.

A food exporter yesterday revealed that Thai halal food exports had been banned in the United Arab Emirates because the halal certification appeared on "nonsense" products.

Dubai suspended some halal food exports from Thailand last month, but now the Commerce Ministry is cooperating with exporters in an attempt to solve the problem, said a source.

"Many goods were certified halal, despite it not being necessary. The problem has led to a misunderstanding by consumers," he said. "For instance, drinking water and salt exported from Thailand has been certified as halal, even though it was not necessary at all."

Somchai Virunhaphol, president of the Thai-Islamic Trade and Industrial Association, accepted that Thai halal exports were not well received by some Islamic countries.

In the Middle East, consumers are confident of Malaysian, Australian, and French halal certification more than that from Thailand, as they have clearer standards to guarantee Muslim food, he said.

He said Thai halal food was not dangerous to the point of being rejected by importing countries, but it has not been popular among consumers.

Somchai suggested the government work with halal producers to increase the food guarantee standard and strongly promote a good image for Thai products in target markets. "The government has no commitment to promoting halal food and the plan to establish Pattani as a halal-food industrial area has gone silent," he said. In addition, Somchai suggested the government launch a halal food festival to create consumer confidence in Thai food exports.

According to the Commerce Ministry, the country's food exports increased by 7 per cent to US$2.7 billion (Bt103 billion) during the first four months of the year. The ministry targets boosting export growth for the sector by 7.4 per cent this year, or a value of $9.65 billion.

Petchanet Pratruangkrai

The Nation
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