A working meeting on development of Halal food industry in Kazakhstan held at headquarters of IOFS
On 12 February, a meeting on development of halal industry was held at IOFS headquarters. The representatives of Ministry of Trade and Integration, Ministry of Agriculture, the Kazakhstani Institute of Standardization and Certification, Atameken and Halal Damu LLP under the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan attended the meeting.
Director-General of IOFS Mr. Yerlan Baidaulet spoke about the need to coordinate efforts of all interested parties in the implementation of an effective halal-standardized system in Kazakhstan. IOFS offered to assist in the development of the industry at both national and regional levels through the exchange of experience, training, and consultations with renowned experts and events. IOFS unites efforts with structures of OIC such as IsDB group, SMICC, ICCIA, Fikh Academy.At the beginning of the working meeting, the IOFS outlined main topics for constructive and fruitful dialogue, namely:
1) Proposal to determine the stages and pace of halal industry development;
“We are very pleased that Kazakhstan is taking decisive steps to reform the Halal industry in Kazakhstan. A comprehensive roadmap has been developed and approved, and responsible government agencies have been identified,” – said Director-General.
In the opinion of IOFS, the most important event under the Roadmap is the establishment of a legislative framework that could regulate all halal food processes in Kazakhstan. The lack of a common regulator negatively affects the quality and reliability of halal products of Kazakhstan.
2) Proposal to build an expert group, which would develop a legislative framework for halal regulation, match Kazakhstani halal standards to global standards, and deal with other relevant issues;
3) Proposal to determine areas where IOFS could provide feasible and most effective assistance to Kazakhstan;
IOFS being a specialized institution of OIC, is able to closely work with other international organizations that work on issues of halal, such as SMIIC, ICCIA, IsDB, etc.
Furthermore, IOFS showed readiness to provide comprehensive support to activities aimed at development and implementation of the halal-standardized system, such as arrangement of specific training and experience exchange programs, implementation of international practices, engagement of international experts, etc.
IOFS also wishes to assist government bodies with the consolidation of general policies in the halal food industry and cooperate with international and national certification structures. Other issues identified during the meeting were:
• Feasibility of legislative regulation of the halal-standardized system in Kazakhstan;
• Application of Islamic law;
• Specification of main problems;
• Methods of solving most pressing issues;
• Participation of IOFS in halal development in Kazakhstan.By the end of the meeting, participants agreed on the following:
1) Need for legislative regulation of halal certification and accreditation procedures, followed by compliance verification;
2) Establishment of a working group to develop a bill and/or improve technical regulation of halal. The working group would be composed of the Ministry of Trade and Integration, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Kazakhstani Institute of Standardization and Certification, Atameken and Halal Damu LLP under the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan.
3) Reflection of discussed issues and objectives in the meeting minutes.