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Head of Turkey's Halal Accreditation Agency

COVID-19 Spikes Up Non-Muslims’ Demand for Halal Food

As people try to find more healthy food options, the demand for halal food has increased significantly after the eruption of the COVID-19 pandemic according to Zafer Soylu, the head of the Halal Accreditation Agency (HAK) in Turkey.

“The importance of safe, healthy, clean food has emerged with the pandemic. Especially in the Far East, non-Muslim consumers have started to show high demand for halal-certified products,” Soylu told Anadolu Agency (AA).

“There was a demand for all halal-certified products before the pandemic, this demand intensified now as the importance of such factors came to light with the pandemic.”

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“People living in non-Muslim countries have resorted to halal certification in order to feel safe. Most of the applications to us are from non-Muslim countries.”

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Soylu added that halal certification isn’t limited to areas related to food but in service sector as well.

These halal standards in Turkey are based on 16 guidelines published by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (IOC) Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC).

“These standards seem to contain only Islamic and fiqh rules, but the other aspects of the work we are talking about should not be forgotten. Hygienic, clean, healthy products, not giving false and misleading information to the consumer and even quality are within the scope of halal standards,” he said

“SMIIC standards include hygiene, cleanliness and health aspects as well as fiqh dimensions,” he said.

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What Is Halal?

The concept of halal, meaning permissible in Arabic, traditionally applies to food.

Muslims should only eat meat from livestock slaughtered by a sharp knife from their necks, and the name of Allah, the Arabic word for God, must be mentioned.

Halal also applies to any other consumed and edible materials which mustn’t be harmful to human health. For example, Islam considers wines, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, E-cigs, hookah and other unhealthy things to be non-halal.

Earlier this month, Research Nester released a report titled “Halal Food Market – Global Demand Analysis & Opportunity Outlook 2027.”