Halal is a growing global business
The essence of Halal lies in its divine bounty: Allah the Creator, in response to a direct question regarding what is permissible for human consumption, said: “All good things have been made lawful for you” (Qur’an, C5v4).
Of course, what is good does not hurt. Considered as a concept, Halal is a remedy to protect oneself from evil. Halal is a plus. It is also a guarantee of usefulness, safety and well-being. Anyone who recognizes the concept of Halal cannot fail to understand why the Halal ecosystem invests so much attention in eliminating unhealthy ingredients from Halal products.
The global Halal economy is experiencing remarkable growth. According to the Global Islamic Report 2022, it is expected to increase by 20% per year. Global halal sales for 2020 and 2021 were at an all-time high, registering $2 trillion each. These are two years in which the business world has been overwhelmed by COVID-19. Moreover, the global Halal market is borderless; it sells and buys worldwide without regard to religion or territorial boundaries. Therefore, I encourage our manufacturers, farmers, suppliers, contractors and banks to invest in Halal.
Halal foods are gaining popularity among Muslims and non-Muslims. Indeed, in our information-driven world, we are guided, in part, by ideas we see on our social platforms, and as a result, we do many things regardless of religious considerations; we do a lot of things because they fit our lifestyle or our perceived social or health benefits. Furthermore, halal foods, wherever found, symbolize cleanliness, wealth, integrity and safety.
International conglomerates such as Nestlé, Unilever, Cargill are at the forefront of the Halal business. In fact, European and American conglomerates represent seven of the ten largest players in the global Halal market. The global fast food chains McDonalds, KFC and Subway not only serve Halal in Muslim countries, they also offer Halal menus in some non-Muslim countries. Indeed, Halal is no longer seen as a prescription for Muslims but as a profitable business across the world and as a brand for all those who care about product quality, health, fair trade, good -being animal and the environment.
Sustainable infrastructure improvements and development are what we need to support the growth and profitability of the halal industry for our businesses. Sustainable processes are essential not only within the narrow framework of our local operating environment, but also from the perspective of the global Halal market.
How to take off as an industry? How do we explore comparative advantage? How to identify and implement sustainable Halal production methods? How do we regulate? How do we gain credibility for Nigeria Halal certified products? And, more generally, how do you put in place an essential support system to continue to succeed in the Halal market, here at home and around the world? These are some of the issues we need to address in order to build a sustainable and profitable Halal industry in Nigeria.
Currently, the National Technical Committee on Halal, set up by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, is working on the preparation of a roadmap for the development of Halal as well as a framework for Halal operations in our country. As Chairman of the Committee, I invite Halal professionals, food manufacturers, suppliers, entrepreneurs, investors, bankers and the media to participate in support of our common mission ‘to make Nigeria a reliable supplier of products and services around the world with an emphasis on product integrity and greater value for our customers”.
Nour Sani Hanga, President of the National Technical Committee on Halal Development