“Halal food is a healthy food, and the halal certificate brings multiple benefits to both consumers and producers. Halal is a sign of trust for consumers, and for the producers an indefinite means which enable them to expand to the new markets and increase employment, and therefore has positive impacts on the economy”, was conclusion of the Panel named “Quality of Halal Food and Consumer Health”, which was held on the Sarajevo Halal Fair (SHF) 2018, officially opened in Sarajevo today.

The moderator of this Panel was Prof. Nihad Fejzic, Dean of Veterinary Faculty, University of Sarajevo.

“In B&H, there are institutions that work jointly in order to distribute and bring a health-correct products on the market. Halal certification has an important role for the population in B&H, and these products give added value,” said Mr. Dzemil Hajric, director of the Food Safety Agency of B&H.

Mr. Khairil Ismahafiz Bin Muhadzir, Commercial Director of Malaysian company Dagang Halal pointed out that in Malaysia products are checked on the farm-to-table principle, which means that the complete process including animal breeding, processing and placing on the market must comply with halal standards and added that a product with a halal certificate signifies a safe product in which people believe.

“The halal product is a healthy product that builds trust with customers. If consumers believe that a particular product is health-safe and innocuous, they buy more of that product, and for companies it means more profits,” said YBhg Dato Zurainah Musa, executive director of Berjaya Corporation.

Moderate consumption of food is of particular importance to human health, was elaborated by Prof. Midhat Jasic, professor at the Faculty of Technology, University of Tuzla. Prof. Jasic looked at diseases caused by obesity such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Ms. Amira Brkić, Quality Assurance Manager AS Group / Solana from Tuzla pointed out that AS Group produces 4,500 products, and 900 of them have a halal certificate.

“It is much easier to meet the requirements of the halal stand if you choose raw materials from the beginning, which are innocuous and halal safe,” added Ms. Brkic.

Prof. Almir Toroman, professor at the Faculty of Agriculture and Food in the University of Sarajevo, emphasized the importance of halal certification for easier access to the markets of Arab countries.

“Halal standard itself includes other standards such as the IFS standard, which allows access to the markets of Western countries,” said Prof. Toroman.

Prof. Ayla Arslan, a professor at the International University of Sarajevo (IUS), explained that through the methods of molecular biology we can determine if the food which we are eating is safe. According to her, there are often food deception situations where not all the ingredients are written on the declarations.

Ahmad Dzuhri, managing director of The Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) and Amer Bukvic, director of BBI Bank, signed today a Memorandum of Understanding, related to mutual cooperation and promotion between SHF and MIHAS.

In addition, at the end of the first day of SHF 2018, B2B meetings between B&H and Malaysian businessmen were held, Major discussions were held on the possibilities of establishing business cooperation between B&H and Malaysian companies.

SHF 2018, which is organized by Bosnia Bank International (BBI) in cooperation with the Islamic Community in B&H and the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB), gathered participants from more than 40 countries and more than 100 exhibitors from all over the world.

During the three days of SHF 2018, regional producers of halal products and providers of halal services from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Macedonia and Albania will be able to meet with large distributors’ and customers from the European Union, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Malaysia, Bahrain, Libya, the United Arab Emirates.