Alberta processor bullish on market growth for Halal meat

The manager of a central Alberta meat processing plant that already flies fresh lamb to Dubai every week says he expects the market for certified halal products will continue to grow.

Sungold Specialty Meats general manager Miles Kliner says his Innisfail plant processes halal lamb and goat meat products and supplies both halal and non-halal markets locally, nationally and abroad

“We certainly see continued opportunity in other countries in the Middle East — Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait,” he said.

“Again, with the international standards the way they are, we feel we’re positioned to be able to capture some of that market.”

Kliner says the market for halal products — food that fits Islamic dietary laws — has grown by eight to 10 per cent year-over-year in the past decade.

Sungold is the only federal processor of halal lamb in Western Canada, and the largest federal processor in Canada.

“We’re very pleased that we’re able to provide the type of certification necessary for consumers to have the confidence in the process.”

For meat to be considered under Muslim principles to be halal, the animal must have been blessed first by an imam and then slaughtered by hand and its blood drained.

“We electrically stun the animals in advance of the bleeding process. So we bring together the humane requirements as well as recognizing the traditional Muslim requirements for ritual slaughter,” Kliner said.

A recent provincial report put Canadian halal food sales at more than $1 billion in 2017.

The Alberta government says it wants to expand the province’s halal capacity as part of overall trade efforts.

Provincial trade and relations officer Aarij Bashir says that also includes the beef industry.

He says the province offers advice and help to current and potential exporters in areas ranging from foreign market access to regulatory barriers.

“We enjoy the support of the government in terms of helping to explore, develop and take advantage of the opportunities that exist,” Kliner said.

Halal Tourism Services Standard has been published

and their expertise in the SMIIC Technical Committee on Tourism and Related Issues  (TC 5) to prepare the standard “OIC/SMIIC 9:2019, Halal Tourism Services – General Requirements”  that aims to ensure that products and services provided for Muslim travellers are in accordance with the Islamic rules.

OIC/SMIIC 9, as the common standard of SMIIC Member States, is expected to be widely used by the actors of the tourism industry who offers Halal Tourism Services (HTS) in the world.

Standard is available for online sale:

Brief Information

HTS is defined as “all products or services in the travel and tourism industry guided by Islamic rules that cater to or provide facilities suitable for Muslim travellers”.

The objectives of OIC/SMIIC 9 are listed as follows:

  • to enhance the ability of an organization/individual to produce and/or manage halal,
  • tourism products and services that meet Islamic rules,
  • to preserve and protect the integrity of halal tourism products and services, through effective application of the standard,
  • and to enhance customer satisfaction by meeting customer requirements.

OIC/SMIIC 9 provides guidelines and requirements for managing halal tourism facilities, products and services for travellers in, accommodation premises, tour packages, tourist guides and, other services and facilities such as catering, restaurants…etc.).

In the standard, HTS are classified according to the services provided by the organizations. And depending on the type of HTS offered, the accommodation premises are divided into 3 categories as:

  • Category A: Accommodation Premises with Halal Tourism Advanced Scale Services
  • Category B: Accommodation Premises with Halal Tourism Medium Scale Services
  • Category C: Accommodation Premises with Halal Tourism Basic Scale Services

This makes the standard applicable for a wide range of accommodation premises which are located in OIC or non-OIC region.

Therefore, the standard basically defines the requirements regarding Halal issues, food, accommodation and other facilities such as prayer rooms, recreational areas…etc. And the rules for tour operators and guides are also parts of the standard.

On the other hand OIC/SMIIC 9 gives guidance to the organizations regarding management responsibility, the requirements of the personnel involved in HTS as well.

In brief, all requirements defined in the standard are generic and intended to be applicable to all organizations and individuals managing HTS.