A Brief History of Halal

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Director of Halal Certification Authority Pty Ltd, one of the largest processed goods regulatory bodies in Australia, Nadia El-Mouelhy spoke at Export Connect’s Halal Market Insights forum on Tuesday 28 August 2018.

Building on her extensive compliance and systems development background, Nadia has designed an innovative platform that ensures the integrity of Halal certification. Recently awarded an Executive Dean’s Award for her studies in Islamic Science, Nadia is an expert in her field and here shares a little of the history and definitions of Halal in this piece.

“Halal means permissible to muslims; it’s just the arabic word that means permissible.

“In 1974, the halal certification took off for slaughtered meat. It took another 19 years, until 1993, when processed goods became developed (if at all). In that period approximately 11 companies were certified, and in 1993 it became massively developed.

“At that time, there was an issue in the industry, where sugar-refining processes required pig bones, and even ice cream had pig emulsifiers within it, so halal certification was needed. This need was even higher, knowing that Australia is a huge export market to muslim countries.

“In 1994, with the proliferation of processed goods markets, cleaning products also needed to become halal, and this also developed.

“In 1995 the movement expanded into halal supplements, and in 1997 the practice spread to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. At the moment, pharmaceuticals and personal care are booming areas. (I’m not saying other markets are less burgeoning – I could also say coffee is booming at this time as well, but that’s the development.)

“With regards to our role in certification, I’ll simplify it: we investigate the products and the ingredients to ensure that suppliers are meeting the markets’ requirements that they’re wanting to enter.

“An audit takes place; we ensure that there’s no contamination, that the products have integrity, and that the procedures are aligned with our integrity system; and we have control measures in place.”

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