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IHAF explores collaboration in maintaining Halal assessment standards
By our business bureau November 29, 2016
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DUBAI: Signalling a new milestone in the global Halal industry, the International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF) convened for its first General Assembly meeting in Dubai. This set in motion the official activation of the world’s first global Halal accreditation network.

The General Assembly has approved a number of resolutions including a recommendation for IHAF to forge a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Laboratory Accreditation Co-operation (ILAC) and International Accreditation Forum (IAF) in order to explore collaboration in maintaining global standards in Halal conformity assessments. This will play a vital role as the membership application of interested Halal accreditation bodies can be supported by their existing membership in ILAC and IAF.

Halal accreditation bodies monitor the entities involved in testing, certifying and verifying Halal products, ensuring that all standards are enforced to give assurance to the consumers that each Halal product is safe, of high quality and full compliance with the Islamic Sharia. IHAF, on the other hand, will ensure that these Halal accreditation bodies strictly and consistently adhere to the principles of Islamic law.

During the meeting, Mohammed Saleh Badri was officially appointed as the Secretary-General of IHAF. Badri was selected based on his extensive experience in the field of accreditation and conformity assessment including his previous role as the Director General of the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA).

At the General Assembly meeting, Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA), was appointed as Chairman of the IHAF while Peter Unger, President Emeritus at American Association for Laboratory Accreditation, was appointed as Vice-Chairman. Representatives from Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology, American Association for Laboratory Accreditation, GCC Accreditation Centre, Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand, The National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards (Thailand), Pakistan National Accreditation Council, and Egyptian Accreditation Council, as well as a representative from Latin America and a representative from Europe form the IHAF Board of Directors.

Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad said: “The first-ever General Assembly meeting of IHAF is a historic event that would serve as a vital pillar of the Islamic economy. This Forum would contribute to further spur growth in the Halal industry as the latest official reports indicate that the global market for Halal products is growing rapidly.”

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