Halal meat suppliers gain export boost

Halal meat firms can now access groundbreaking newly-endorsed UK-based certification enabling them to supply the United Arab Emirates (UAE) once the country closes its borders to non-certified halal products later this year.

The certification will be provided by the UK’s Halal Food Authority (HFA), which claims to be the first and only UK body to be granted this status by the Emirates Standardisation and Metrology Authority (ESMA). It also claims it is one of only a dozen bodies in the world approved and registered with ESMA to date.

The scope of HFA accreditation under the scheme includes certification of processed meat and fish products, dairy, confectionery, food additives, ready-to-eat-foods, beverages, chemicals, colours and flavours.

Officially, ESMA has said that by March it would require all halal products exported to the UAE to be certified by bodies accredited under UAE2055-2 and registered with ESMA. However, HFA chief executive Saqib Mohammed told Meat Trades Journal it had been holding off to give suppliers more time to conform to the correct standards.

“It planned to implement the new standard in February, but extended that to March,” he said. “It may extend again by a month or so.”

The Saudi-based accreditation body GCC Accreditation Centre undertook the HFA’s ESMA registration and approval. The process involves a formal accreditation to the UAE2055-2, comprising an assessment of quality management systems, technical audit protocols and adherence to ISO17065, ISO17021 and ISO9001.

In a statement announcing the endorsement, Mohammed stated: “This prestigious accomplishment is a direct outcome of our ongoing commitment and vision towards raising halal certification standards - driven by innovation, ensuring enhanced quality assurance and continued investment in human capital.”

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