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Pakistan possesses huge potential to capture major share in global halal food industry

‘Halal Label’ is recognized as a symbol of ‘Good Quality Product’ in the world

In the wake of emerging scenario in regional meat market, Pakistan possesses huge potential to capture major share in global Halal food industry, which is of billions of dollars.

Halal meat is one of the fastest growing markets in the world and Pakistan by improving certifications and quality standards of Halal products can fully tap the Halal meat market.

However, Pakistani entrepreneurs need to focus on developing good brands and improve branding of products, which is very important to penetrate the global market.

India is largest beef exporter in the world and is also a major competitor in regional meat export market comprising Gulf countries, China and Malaysia. Pakistani beef is relatively better in taste; hence by improving marketing techniques, meat export could be increased manifold.

After a host of Brazilian meat buyers in the world had either banned or reduced the import of Brazilian meat after getting information that Brazilian meat-packers did not meet quality and hygienic standards, host of opportunities have opened for Pakistani meat exporters.

The total worth of global Halal trade is well over US$300 billion. If Pakistan is able to attain only 10% share of this trade then we can expand our exports easily by US$30 billion. It is high time that all the public and private sectors organizations should work hand in hand to materialize this objective.

After the UAE authority has allowed transportation of Halal products through sea, it is expected that it would bring down the cost of freight by one third.

According to the Punjab Halal Development Agency (PHDA) Chairman Justice Khalil-ur-Reman Khan (Retd) the PHDA is having Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with various countries and authorities to make it’s certification acceptable for them. Pakistan Halal Authority has also been operational. The PHDA is also organizing training programs for butchers to aware them of the Shariah requirements. After that they would be given licenses.

He further said the Punjab government is striving to boost the Halal industry of the country and this event aims to increase the potential of Halal trade in the province.

According to the LCCI President Mr. Abdul Basit, Halal food has become billions of dollars global economy today, wherein Pakistan’s share is still insignificant. It is high time for Pakistan’s economy to get a boost not by getting aids from foreign countries but by exploiting the untapped potential of Halal foods that has created a brand new global Halal economy in the world.

Halal global economy includes all type of food and non-food products ranging from food and food ingredients, all types of beverages, cosmetics & beauty products, and a host of services including banking and takaful etc. The ‘Halal Label’ is recognized in the world as a symbol of “Good Quality Product”; therefore, non-Muslims are also buying products bearing the Halal Logo.

The LCCI President said, despite being the natural base for Halal products, the Pakistan’s share in Global Halal Market is negligible. Today a much bigger share of Halal business is in the hands of non-Muslims and they are utilizing the Halal brand to their economic benefit. Pakistan being an Islamic country has to understand the importance of Halal Certification to get the Halal Branding, as this would boost our exports and help us transform the face of Pakistan’s economy.

Experts are of the view that effective policies are needed for the development of meat industry and meat export which will also boost agricultural and national economy. They stressed the need of establishing a meat association for resolving various issues/problems currently facing by the meat industry. They said farmers training regarding breed improvement and livestock feedlot fattening and enhancing fodder production for the nutrition of animals are necessary.

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Standing Committee Chairman on Horticulture, Mr. Ahmad Jawad said, “Pakistan can fill demand gap for meat in international market after imposing ban or reducing Brazilian meat import by many countries across the world. This is a golden opportunity for Pakistan to benefit from the vacuum. It will also promote Halal meat exports.”

Mr. Jawad maintained that a host of Brazilian meat buyers in the world had either banned or reduced the import of Brazilian meat after getting information that Brazilian meat-packers did not meat quality and hygienic standards.

The main buyers of Brazilian meat were China, Chile, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and European Union, he said. Meat is the third largest export of Brazil, after soy and iron ore. The country sold beef and poultry products worth $ 12.6 billion in 2016. “We can tap the buyers through effective planning and support of the government as Pakistan has the potential of 159 million livestock,” he asserted.

Although, Pakistan sold a good quantity of beef and mutton to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, yet it could not export these to China, which is a big buyer. Likewise, poultry, which forms the bulk of meat imports in the region, was left untapped by Pakistan.

Mr. Ahmed Jawad mentioned that Pakistan had surplus production of poultry over last five to seven years but the country did not export its poultry. For qualifying as poultry exporters, he recommended, Pakistan’s poultry farmers and traders would have to maintain hygiene, and quarantine standards along with accreditation by the relevant government agencies.

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