Hamid Lateef, CEO TTI Labs has said that the biggest challenge in Pakistan was the lack of proper labelling laws – the need for proper labelling and testing of products could easily solve 40% of the Shariah compliance problems. Speaking at a seminar on “Global Business growth Opportunities in Halal Markets” organized by IBA CEIF TTI Chief urged that there is a need for our testing labs to be upgraded, and for research to be conducted on producing Alternative (halaal) ingredients.
The Panelists of the seminar for the session included Mufti Najeeb Ahmad Khan, the Shariah Advisor for Summit Bank, Mr. Muhammad Ayyas from the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), Mr. Hamed Lateef, CEO of TTI Labs, Mr. Masroor Ahmad Qureshi from the Ministry of Science and Technology, and Mufti Naeem Shahid, the CEO of Pakistan Halaal Foundation.
In the opening address, Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, Director of IBA CEIF, explained that the global Halaal markets include not only Islamic Banking and Finance, but the foods industry, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, education, chemicals, travel, tourism, hospitality etc. Islamic Finance is a very critical component of the Halaal markets as for a product to be completely Halaal, not only its ingredients but its financing and processes of manufacturing have to be Halaal.
On this note, Mufti NajeebKhan, who has been an integral part of the Pakistan halaal foods industry for the past decade, explained that Islamic Finance and halaal foods both are two growing industries in Pakistan, that are two jihads for the industry and academia. With over 50% of our economy being agro-based, the country has the potential to produce 95% of its meat Halaal, and also to produce halaal meat by-products, which are high in demand in the local and international foods industry.
He explained how traceability of meat was the biggest challenge currently in the meats export industry, and urged that we need proper halaal-inspection for our food imports. Although consumers may think that all food products in Muslim Pakistan are halaal, from sea-food to chicken to chocolates, our markets are flooded with non-compliant food products.