Thailand’s halal exports ready to surge as it wins global recognition

Thailand, a predominantly Buddhist country, is one of the world’s largest exporters of halal food.

In 2021, Thailand ranked 15th among the world’s leading halal food exporters. With halal food exports worth almost US$6 billion in 202-2022, the country targets a three per cent increase in 2023.

Thailand’s top halal food exports include rice, sugar, canned seafood, processed fruits and vegetables, non-alcoholic beverages, and organic and functional foods.

One of the key challenges for Thailand’s halal industry is bolstering consumer confidence in its products. To address this, the Central Islamic Council of Thailand (CICOT) has promoted the use of international halal standards and certification procedures with the support of the Halal Standard Institute of Thailand (HSIT).

“To maintain the standards of Thai halal products, we follow the principles of ‘Religious confirmation and scientific support’,” said HSIT director Prof. Dr Pakorn Priyakorn.

CICOT has worked with various halal certification bodies, such as the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries, to get international accreditation for Thailand’s halal certificate.

Additionally, the Halal Science Centre of Chulalongkorn University has helped to ensure top halal quality by using science-based methods and advanced technologies to detect haram (forbidden by Islamic law) ingredients in its inspection and certification processes.

As of April 2023, more than 160,000 products, 33,000 brands, and 14,000 companies have received halal certification in Thailand.

“Our halal certification process is globally recognised. We have the highest number of halal-certified products globally,” said Prof. Dr Pakorn.

Thailand’s Tao Kae Noi-brand seaweed snack – already exported to more than 37 countries – is seeking new markets after being granted halal certification.

Tao Kae Noi is not unique in going halal. Major Thai food-processing conglomerates such as CP Group and Betagro have invested significantly in halal food production processes and overseas marketing.

These strategic investments align with the global trend among companies to tap into the growing halal market and capture Islamic consumers.

Besides food, Thailand’s halal industry covers many other products and services, including cosmetics, fashion, pharmaceuticals, and tourism.

Halal tourism is a rapidly growing market, with Muslim consumers seeking travel experiences catering to their religious and cultural requirements.

Thailand was among the top five most popular travel destinations for non-Muslim countries in the 2022 Global Muslim Travel Index.

To reinforce its reputation as a hub for halal manufacturing, Thailand dedicated a special halal market section in its showroom at the THAIFEX, one of Asia’s most extensive food and beverage industry events, held from May 28-June 1. The event showcased trending and innovative halal products and services.

With a robust support system and an established reputation for certified-halal quality products, Thailand’s halal industry is poised for a bright future. @Halal 

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