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IHAF holds first General Assembly meeting in Dubai

DUBAI, November 28, 2016

The International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF) recently convened for its first General Assembly meeting in Dubai, UAE, setting in motion the official activation of the world’s first global Halal accreditation network.

The General Assembly has approved a number of resolutions including a recommendation for IHAF to forge a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC) and International Accreditation Forum (IAF) in order to explore collaboration in maintaining global standards in Halal conformity assessments.

This will play a vital role as the membership application of interested Halal accreditation bodies can be supported by their existing membership in ILAC and IAF.

Halal accreditation bodies monitor the entities involved in testing, certifying and verifying Halal products, ensuring that all standards are enforced to give assurance to the consumers that each Halal product is safe, of high quality and full compliance with the Islamic Sharia. IHAF, on the other hand, will ensure that these Halal accreditation bodies strictly and consistently adhere to the principles of Islamic law.

During the meeting, Mohammed Saleh Badri was officially appointed as the secretary-general of IHAF. Badri was selected based on his extensive experience in the field of accreditation and conformity assessment including his previous role as the director general of the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA).

At the General Assembly meeting, Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA), was appointed as chairman of the IHAF while Peter Unger, President Emeritus at American Association for Laboratory Accreditation, was appointed as vice-chairman.

Dr Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad said: “The first-ever General Assembly meeting of IHAF is a historic event that would serve as a vital pillar of the Islamic economy. This Forum would contribute to further spur growth in the Halal industry as the latest official reports indicate that the global market for Halal products is growing rapidly.”

Speaking at the General Assembly meeting, Dr Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad estimated the size of the market and trade in Halal products at more than $1.9 trillion (Dh.97 trillion) in 2015, and is expected to rise to $3 trillion in 2021 (Dh11.01 trillion), with food and beverages accounting for more than 60 per cent.

Mohammed Saleh Badri, Secretary-General of IHAF, said: “We will continue to bring more and more international partners on board, ensuring exchange of expertise and creating a vivid standard for the Halal industry in various parts of the world. This would enhance co-operation amongst various stakeholders, and enable them to better understand and implement Halal standards for food and non-food products.”

During  the meeting, a number of committee appointments were announced. Kylie Sheehan, General Manager Operations at Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand, was appointed as chairperson of the technical affairs committee.

Brahim Houla, Accreditation Services Manager at GCC Accreditation Centre, will serve as chairperson of multi-lateral recognition arrangement committee. Amina Mohamed Hassan, Directorat Emirates National Accreditation System (ENAS), was appointed as chairperson of marketing and media committee. – TradeArabia News Service




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