It is a new phenomenon that consumers in some Muslim countries are not assured when they see a Halal logo on packaged food products other then meat. Unfortunately that puts Halal – labeled products from Thailand at disadvantage from the start.
Islam is an internation religion. There are more then two billion Muslim in the world – or around almost one third of world’s population In general, many people think that Muslims mostly live in the Middle East, where the religion originated. But in fact, Muslims lives around the world The Middle East accounts for only 15-20 percents of the world’s Muslim. Islam has been spread to all corners of the globe , including Asia, Europe and North America. The only area where there are few Muslims is around Scandinavia and South America.
This scattering of Muslims has resulted in different in cultures, traditions, and lifestyles, even though they are of the same religion. However, when it comes to Islamic regulations, Muslims strictly comply with the instructions revealed in the scriptures, especially those concerning eating habits and how they should be observed.
It dose not mean that all Islamic people have to consume the same thing or the same kind f food, but they must eat food, but they must eat foods that are considered “Halal”
Halal food is food prepared according to the requirements of God and is fit for consumption by all human beings, not only Muslims, or even certain Muslims. Halal food is very health and hygienic because it is “Halal- Toyyip,” which means “approved for doing good things.”
Muslims are a majority in some countries and a minority in some countries and minority in others. In countries in which Muslims are the majority and where they also also govern, lifestyles do not conflict with the religion’s principles – especially what is “Halal or Haram” (approved or prohibited) like how people should dress and what they should eat. That’s because the population is relatively homogeneous.
In countries where Muslims are in the minority and the government is not Muslim-dominated, Islamic rules can obviously not be applied to society. The rule of the religion regulate only the specific group. Some of the rules depending on the stance of religious in the those countries.
The important factor for Muslims are dress and food. In countries are dress and food. In countries where Muslims are in the minority, they can still follow these Islamic principle even though there is no legal support or regulations government them, especially when it comes to food.
This is way implementation of Halal food in those countries is very normal and more perceivable. Countries that have abundant raw materials and labor fully support Halal food because they can export the food to Muslim countries that have less potential in food production- like those in the Middle East.
Many countries in Asia are putting tremendous resources behind supporting their food export sectors.
Thailand is no exception and it has advantage because it has everything required for success: raw materials, labor and experience. And the most important thing is that there is a strong and globally accepted Islamic organization in Thailand .With all of the crucial element already in place the government established a policy of supporting the Halal food sector for export to Muslim markets around the world.
Cooperation among the government, private sector, and concerned religious organizations helped create the Halal logo, which in cludes the world
Halal framed by a rhombus. This logo has gained acceptance by Muslim worldwide in less than five years thank to the aforementioned cooperation .
The Thai Halal logo is accepted by countries that also support their own Halal industries – like Malaysia and Indonesia – until it become the cooperation because there are many further steps of Halal products to be developed.
Due to the strict standards required of Halal food manufacturers in Thailand this certification has been an unqualified success, particularly in light of the fact that 90 percent of manufacturers are not Muslims. Every process from acquiring raw materials and ingredients, manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, and selling – is checked and controlled in order to assure that every is absolutely Halal.
This type of strictness is not even prevalent Muslim – dominated countries and these processes are not necessary in Muslim countries.
Therefore, some kinds of products from Thailand or Malaysia that have Halal logos are not popular among consumers in some Muslim countries, especially ones the Middle East and Africa. Since Halal certification should be done for meat to ensure it goes through a certain butchering process, other kinds of foods like seafood, desserts and vegetables are Halal on their own and do not need a Halal certification.
This is the sense and perception among people living in Muslim countries. They understand that the whole system, from production to distribution should comply Islamic requirements because they compare it with their perceptions of their countries. In Muslim and all processes are regulated by Islam.
Consumers in those countries are rarely concerned about contamination during the production process because they lack understanding, like non- Muslim producers, about touching the products with some prohibited ingredients.
These problem seem to be very small but in the past they have caused the Thai Halal market trouble. The public sector agencies responsible for Halal promotion do not understand this either. When the problems and questions arise, they are pressed to explain them. As a more closely with the private sector and Muslim organizations familiar with the Halal Process. Hence, these religious organizations can now help educate other countries about this, which will give Thai manufactures more credibility in the eyes of foreign Muslim consumers.
In the early stages, the public sector and coordinators thought that these problems occurred in Thailand only. They thought this was the result of unreliability of the Thai Halal logo. Probably, Hala food should pass through Malaysia because there are not many problems there. Yet at one time Malaysia also faced the same problems, because the government and most coordinators were Muslims and understood the Halal process they were able to clarify themselves and the reasons principles, which are the core of the Halal business. That’s why Thailand lost many opportunities and wasted time for several years.
Referent : Thai Halal Product Directory 2006- 2007