“Challenges and Prospects of HalÉl Industries Business”
Dr. Mohammad Mohiuddin
The researcher discussed the challenges and prospects of HalÉl industry’s business globally in this article. Because the Muslim businessmen need to find out the challenges to overcome and act according to the prospects to strengthen the capacity of HalÉl products in order to develop Shariah Economic Growth at the global stage. AllÉh Almighty said:
]يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُوا مِمَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُبِينٌ[ [البقرة ١٦٨]
“O people! Eat of the lawful and pure things in the earth and follow not in the footsteps of Satan.166 For surely he is your open enemy”.
What is the definition of HalÉl and Haram, we all knew very well, and what’s lawful and what’s unlawful. I don’t think its needed to repeat. But an overall concept is to seek and use products and services that promote cleanliness in every aspect of individual’s life and fulfilled the permissibility requirements set up by the Shariah. HalÉl food is safe and clean for consumption, produced in a lawful and clean environment as well as certified for next quality benchmark.
The Secretary General of the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries SMIIC said: “HalÉl is a sovereign issue of the IslÉmic Ummah”.
Therefore, HalÉl industry covers food items, and non-food items including health products, medical devices, cosmetics, etc., and services such as packaging, branding, marketing, electronic media, travel, tourism, and logistics.
Muslim is the 23% of the world’s total population and for this reason one of the fastest growing economies could be considered with the Muslim.“The Muslim consumer spending across HalÉl food and non-food sectors (excluding Islamic finance) is worth $1.8 trillion in 2014, rising to $2.6 trillion by 2020”.
So, the HalÉl industry has developed and grown further into lifestyle offerings including fashion, HalÉl travel and hospitality services, and many others due to the change in the mindset of Muslim consumers as well as ethical and lawful consumer trends globally. Shariah compliant economy is rapidly growing through HalÉl products and services as they are not only attracting the Muslims but also, they are garnering increment of the interest of non-Muslims worldwide. Many of non-Muslims are associating HalÉl with ethical consumerism and healthy products. Because HalÉl products and services clarifies that the preparation of food items is safe enough and hygiene to be consumed, and services are Shariah compliant and not harmful.
Furthermore, the universal values promoted by HalÉl, including economic and social justice, social responsibility, stewardship of the earth, animal welfare and ethical investment, all have gathered the market’s interest beyond its religious compliance.
Some Islamic scholars and experts in Islamic economics and finance argued that there are three reasons behind this transition of Shariah economics growth:
Firstly, The HalÉl Industry Development goes beyond its expectation.
Secondly, Shariah compliant Muslim market share, and
Thirdly, the competitiveness of HalÉl business products and services on the local and international market.
But let’s question ourselves – does the Shariah or Islamic economics have absolute and considerable growth worldwide within the Muslim communities? We know that the business growth is not only measured in terms of sales and profit, but there are some other issues and sectors that can measure the growth of business company, industry or institution and factory. Let’s say the three different pillars of the business growth as A. J. Sherman stated, which are:
- Financial Capital
- Human Capital, and
- Intellectual Capital.
Let’s add some more pillars to be categorized under the economics growth such as HR (Human Resources), R&D (Research and Development), Promotion and Sales, Brand equity, Distribution networks, Management and Recruitment, Local and International market acceptance, and Customer and Market Shares, etc.
As a result of the Shariah compliant economics demonstrated by Shariah guided activities based on prescribed principles and rules, and manifested in form of products, instruments, and services with a regulatory and governing framework, promoting the objectives of Shariah (MaqÉsid-al-ØarÊ‘ah), there is a huge potential for the strengthening the capacity of HalÉl products and services that we are observing now at the global market. “The trillion-dollar HalÉl food sector offers a new horizon of opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises to diversify and compete (International Trade Centre).”
So, the HalÉl Productions are considered the high profitable contributing business players, entrepreneurs, associating the remarkable opportunities for the companies and industries. Therefore, more than USD2.1 trillion annually is estimated now as the value of global market for trade in HalÉl and non-HalÉl foods and products.
Despite having expected potential, there are challenges and deep concern in consuming HalÉl products in various sectors and services worldwide. We need to overcome these challenges to increase the capacity of HalÉl products for the Shariah compliant economic growth. The challenges and prospects are:
- Lack of efficiency in local business in serving HalÉl market. Therefore, the customers misunderstand the availability and the quality of HalÉl products.
- Shortage of HalÉl products, raw materials and Shariah compliant services compare to the needs.
- Lack of coordination and collaboration between the HalÉl production companies or industries and government authorities, ministries, and agencies.
- Lack of information and knowledge concerning the HalÉl brand and logo, as there is fake HalÉl logo available in the market.
- Less skilled human resources in the field of HalÉl production. We need to produce knowledgeable workforces.
- Difference in religious sectarian groups and schools of thoughts.
- The complication in HalÉl Certification; AbdalhamÊd David Evans said: “HalÉl certification – it is likely to get more complicated, rather than simpler. There is a need for leadership.”
Yet, the Muslim majority countries are undertaking procedures and measurements to introduce HalÉl Certification. Non-Muslim countries are also being interested into introducing HalÉl Certification. Thailand, Philippine, and Singapore have already pursued.
- Confusion in standards applied to HalÉl products is a big challenge for SMEs looking for global market. A country does not recognize the standards of the other country especially in export-import trade. The companies and industries need recognized standards specific to HalÉl products and services. Tony Zohrab said: “There is a danger that hubs start competing on HalÉl standards.” 
So, developing international HalÉl standard became a major concern in the HalÉl market and production field. Many Muslim countries are operating the market without any HalÉl official Standards. Even the SMIIC currently adopted only 20 out of its 57 OIC countries.
The good thing is that Thailand developed HalÉl monitoring standards and established ‘the Institute for HalÉl Food Standard of Thailand’, and as well as Philippine formed ‘the Mindanao HalÉl Service Center for training workers’, and Singapore introduced ‘the Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura’.
- The prejudice of Islamophobia broadcasted by the western media. Example 1: The Guardian United Kingdom, 18 May 2014 circulated “the word HalÉl is frequently freighted with controversy”, stop slashing animals’ throat in ritual slaughters for HalÉl and kosher meat”.
Example 2: Daily Mail Australia, 20 December 2014 circulated “HalÉl certification is detrimental Australian values of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. An Aussie housewife claims to have discovered deception and corruption within the food industry, campaigning to uncover the truth about the relationship between Islam and some of the Australia’s major food companies.”
- Enhancing professionalism in conducting certification activities and need to focus more on accredited certificates instead of National recognition.
- Developing innovative and technology-based resources. Example, portable slaughter unit, Verification of HalÉl via SMS, etc. HalÉl e-commerce and Muslim-friendly tourism are among less developed areas that will see a rising demand in future. I believe that the doption of the innovative and technology-based resources will foster greater trust and authenticity, enhancing branding and certification system in HalÉl products internationally.
- Setting up the pillars of the HalÉl conformity assessment and internationalization of them in a standard process that to be accepted by all the Muslim countries particularly and worldwide generally. Example: Standards, certification, and accreditation.
- A. Norman, M. H. N. Md Nasir, and M. Azmi. (2008). “The users’ perceptions and opportunities in Malaysiain introducing RFID system for HalÉl food tracking”. WSEAS Transactions and Information Science and Applications. vol. 5, no. 5.
- J. Sherman. (2007). Grow Fast Grow Right, USA: Kaplan Publishing.
Daily Mail Australia, 20 December 2014.
Fasa, M. Iqbal. (2020). Eksistensi Bisnis Islami Di Era Revolusi Industri 4.0. Bandung: Widina Bhakti Persada Bandung.
Mr. Tony Zohrab, HalÉl Standards – Challenges and Opportunities – Session summary by ITC News, International Trade Centre. https://www.intracen.org/news/HalÉl-Standards—Challenges-and-Opportunities—Session-summary/.
The Guardian United Kingdom, 18 May 2014.
Thomson Reuters. State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2015/16.
- M. W. Omar, M. Z. Muhammad, and A. C. Omar. (2008). “An analysis of the Muslim consumers’ attitude towards HalÉl food products in Kelantan”. presented at ECER Regional Conference.
Dr. Mohammad Mohiuddin, Coordinator (English programs and Skill Programs), Islamic Economics Association, Faculty of Shariah and Islamic Studies, Kuwait university.
 Al-Quran, 2:168
 W. M. W. Omar, M. Z. Muhammad, and A. C. Omar, “An analysis of the Muslim consumers’ attitude towards halal food products in Kelantan,” presented at ECER Regional Conference, 2008
 State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2015/16 by Thomson Reuters
 A. A. Norman, M. H. N. Md Nasir, and M. Azmi, “The users perceptions and opportunities in Malaysiain introducing RFID system for halal food tracking,” WSEAS Transactions and Information Science and Applications, vol. 5, no. 5, 2008.
 Fasa, M. Iqbal. Eksistensi Bisnis Islami Di Era Revolusi Industri 4.0. Bandung: Widina Bhakti Persada Bandung, 2020. P.84
 A. J. Sherman, Grow Fast Grow Right, USA: Kaplan Publishing, 2007.
 Mr. Tony Zohrab, Halal Standards – Challenges and Opportunities – Session summary by ITC News, International Trade Centre, https://www.intracen.org/news/Halal-Standards—Challenges-and-Opportunities—Session-summary/.
 Mr. Tony Zohrab, ibid.
 The Guardian United Kingdom, 18 May 2014.
 Daily Mail Australia, 20 December 2014.