Specialist logistics for halal food market

The rapidly growing global halal food market is creating demand for logistics systems that are able to ensure integrity of products right to the point of consumption. Marco Tieman reports.

Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, estimated to have 1.8 billion followers. East Asia has the biggest Muslim concentration and accounts for 25 percent of the world’s Muslim population. Asia has therefore been driving much of the developments and innovations in halal products.

Halal is used to describe anything permissible under Islamic law, in contrast to “haram” – which is forbidden. This covers aspects such as behavior, speech, dress, conduct, manner, and dietary laws.

This dichotomy of usage is similar to the Hebrew term “kosher”. As well as the production and consumption of food, halal products and services include cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, clothing, financial services, and logistics.

The global halal food market alone has an estimated value of US$580 billion and is growing rapidly. Halal logistics, meanwhile, is a newer phenomenon, where the Shariah is being applied to the logistics discipline. This development is quite similar to Islamic banking, where a banking system is developed according to the principles of the Shariah.

The main objective of logistics is the integral management of physical goods flow and information flow against optimal costs meeting the customer requirements.

As the Muslim consumer requires the consumption of halal products, not only is the production of the halal products important but also the logistics to the consumer, in order to ensure the integrity of the product at the point of consumption.