Accreditation is a formal, independent verification that a program or institution meets established quality standards and is competent to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks. Conformity assessment tasks may include, but are not limited to, testing, inspection, or certification.
Formal procedure by which an accredited or authorized person or agency assesses and verifies (and attests in writing by issuing a certificate) the attributes, characteristics, quality, qualification, or status of individuals or organizations, goods or services, procedures or processes, or events or situations, in accordance with established requirements or standards.
Importance Of Having Unified Halaal Criteria
According to the statistical data in the World Economic Economy 2017/2018 report published by Thomson Reuters related to the Islamic economy, global spending on various sectors of the Islamic economy was estimated at approximately $ 3.2 trillion in 2017. It is important to note that the level of global spending in 2014 on the Halaal food sector alone has reached $ 1.128 billion and an increase in spending is expected to rise to $ 1.585 trillion by 2020. While global spending on other sectors of life, such as travel, fashion, media, entertainment, medicine and cosmetics, is estimated at $ 1.8 billion in 2014, expenditure is expected to increase steadily to $ 2.6 billion by 2020.
Standardization is also expected to increase investor interest. Investor interest had been limited so far because the business itself was on a limited scale. Now the business is growing, and with the support of proper Halaal standards and schemes, the supply-and-demand equation would draw more funding, helping Halaal commodities compete with non- Halaal products in the same category”.
Different Halaal standards and Halaal schemes around the world led to confusion between manufacturers and exporters.
While the Islamic Economy can be considered an excellent opportunity to promote the Halaal trade, Halaal industries and Halaal -based business across the world, it faces structural and operational challenges in regulation, standardization, compliance, supply chain integrity, research and development, consumer education and awareness. Regulation and standardization challenge is one of the most influencing challenges as it highly affects the trade between countries. The importation of Halaal products and services into Islamic countries becomes a considerable business and an opportunity for manufacturers and exporters to enter this fast-growing market segment. This requires a proper Halaal certificate and Halaal mark that guarantee compliance with the specified Halaal requirements set by each country.
In its current status, each country has its own regulation, standards, Halaal schemes and Halaal conformity assessment practices. Getting a proper Halaal certificate can be questionable due to the existence of many certification bodies working in Halaal; with adopting different sets of standards and schemes, therefore, this led to confusion between manufacturers and exporters, which requirements they shall comply with? and why one product is accepted in one country as “Halaal” and not accepted in another country? This situation also resulted in having more than a hundred Halaal marks are currently being used all over the globe and expanded the confusion to the consumers of Halaal products, which Halaal mark is accurate? Are the products declared as Halaal; really Halaal? At the end, this becomes a hindering factor for the growth of the Halaal market.
In addition to that, manufacturers and exports found themselves forced to comply with different sets of requirements with considering the financial impact associated with this that is passes at the end to consumers who have to pay higher prices for Halaal products and services. From here the need arises for having unified criteria for Halaal in each sector, and for streamlining the certification process between different countries and creating a unified Halaal conformity assessment practices.
QTAWA Role in Having Unified Halaal Criteria
QTAWA’s ultimate mission is to unify Halaal criteria and Halaal conformity assessment practices and generate a global agreement among the authorities that would ease the flow of Halaal goods between countries and create Halaal market consumers can trust. Hence, to overcome this challenge of lacking uniform Halaal criteria and unified conformity assessment practices in Halaal field, QTAWA is working on establishing unified criteria for Halaal accreditation bodies and unified criteria for all Halaal schemes through the work of its Technical Affairs Committee. The issued Halaal criteria documents shall result in reducing challenges related to the unified criteria and practices in this field and shall form the bases for the peer evaluation process of QTAWA and the mutual recognition among its members.
One of QTAWA’s main objectives is to ensure unified criteria, integrity and transparency within Halaal accreditation schemes. Reliable dependence and the desire for rapid expansion in the Halaal markets are motivating many countries to adopt unified Halaal practices, which are reflected in the growing growth of QTAWA members. Countries with unified accreditation practices have clear competitive advantages in the global market, especially in terms of reliability and cost, and are in a stronger position when it comes to expanding their global presence.
It is worth mentioning here that QTAWA facilitates mutual recognition between member accreditation bodies to enhance international trade in the field of Halaal and assures governments and regulatory bodies that Halaal products under the QTAWA’s umbrella need no further testing, certification or verification. By streamlining the accreditation, certification and monitoring processes, QTAWA also facilitates cost-effective accreditation; thereby producing cheaper QTAWA goods and promotes accessibility to global markets for Halaal -related firms.
Alongside creating unified global Halaal criteria, QTAWA will promote awareness on the scientific foundation and health benefits of Halaal products. Raising awareness amongst consumers will make them choose authentic, certified Halaal products, and that would further increase the demand.