HMA meets growing demand for Halal food inspection

Bakers Journal
May 02, 2019
Written by Bakers Journal
HMA meets growing demand for Halal food inspection
Image courtesy of The Halal Monitoring Authority
The Halal Monitoring Authority (HMA), Canada’s only certification body that monitors food production at every step, is committed to integrating directly into existing supply chains and work hand-in-hand with businesses looking to enter into the growing halal Market.

Founded in 2004, The HMA is  is a department of the Canadian Council of Muslim Theologians (CCMT) - a federally Canadian registered, non-profit organization.

The HMA team consists of in-house Food scientists, ingredient specialists and over 20 on-site inspectors that work with internal Research and Development departments to help source and validate each ingredient in a product in order to prepare it for certification and entry into the halal consumer market.

This unique service ensures that all certified products pass key Islamic standards both religiously as well as ethically. The HMA formed after the discovery of significant malpractices within the community and stepped in to be a trusted source and voice of authority when it comes to validating and educating on what is acceptable for halal consumers within Canada.

The HMA’s reputation means that consumers can eat confidently as it is known within the community that they only certify what they see. This, in conjunction with the HMA’s thorough, on-site monitoring practices, builds consumer confidence and removes any potential risks or community backlash that can happen with even one small error while preparing to enter into this market.

“We’ve worked with mom and pop shops all the way up to large-scale suppliers and CPG brands to ensure there is quality in the product that is being produced from a halal perspective,” says Omar Subedar, COO of HMA, in a press release. “The halal consumer is a part of a tightly-knit community and the influence the HMA has on what is fit to consume and what is certified over what we will not certify makes all the difference when it comes to serving this market.”

The HMA is a certifying body in Canada that works with brands at such a close level in order to get it right the first time. Various HMA clients have seen an increase in sales due to the trust factor that comes with this label on their packaging. The HMA works closely to recommend adjustments and simplify operations in order to allow companies to be confident in the product they are distributing to the Muslim community.

“Our goal as an organization is to standardize halal monitoring and certification of food in Canada and equal the playing field within the industry. We implement a high-standard and thorough practice across the board” adds Subedar. “There are many things that don’t come into play until after an initial inspection and may only come up during a run. With inspectors on the floor at all run-times, we can recommend what needs to be adjusted on the spot.” 

As the demand for halal increases, this is becoming a key market for suppliers, brands and CPGs in Canada. Stats Canada has projected the Muslim population to exceed the size of the Chinese Canadian market by 2021. Preparation and early planning will give brands the foundation to scale up in the coming years.

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