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Trade ministry committed to support stakeholders to promote halal industry in Gambia

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By Mariatou Ngum

As The Gambia commemorates World Halal Standards Day 2024, which is marked today, 17th May 2024, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment is committed to support and collaborate with all stakeholders to promote and develop the halal industry in The Gambia, says Hon. Baboucarr Ousmaila Joof.

Mr Joof called upon all stakeholders to renew their dedication to the adoption and implementation of halal standards as a way of life and doing business. “Let us work together to ensure that standards continue to be the foundation of our global community, guiding us towards a more prosperous and sustainable future for all,” he urged.

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Hon. Joof made these statements in commemoration of the World Halal Standards Day 2024 on the theme: Pioneering Excellence: Advancing the Halal Industry with OIC/SMIIC Standards.

In his statement, Minister Joof said that the evolution of the halal industry has been remarkable, expanding far beyond its traditional focus on only food to encompass a wide array of products and services essential to Muslim life. According to him, this transformation has been driven by factors like industrialization and globalization, which have reshaped manufacturing and facilitated the movement of goods and people worldwide.  Therefore, he affirmed that standardization has become indispensable to the halal industry, providing a framework for professionalism and quality assurance.

“Bringing together the realms of “Halal” and “Standardization” not only enhances the credibility of halal products and services but also fosters innovation and growth within the industry. SMIIC’s efforts through the contribution of relevant stakeholders of its Members in the preparation of OIC/SMIIC Standards are crucial for advancing the interests of OIC member states and promoting the sustainable development of the halal economy globally,” Minister Joof remarked.

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World Halal Standards Day 2024

World Halal Standards Day 2024 is marked on the 17th May 2024.  It is noteworthy that this year is the inaugural commemoration of this event worldwide and has been spearheaded and coordinated by the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC).  This Organization is an Affiliate structure of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The significance of 17th May marks a memorable day as it commemorates the adoption of the initial versions of the OIC/SMIIC Halal Standards series: OIC SMIIC 1, OIC/SMIIC 2 and OIC/SMIIC 3 during the first SMIIC Technical Committee meeting held on 17 May 2011 in Yaoundé, Cameroon.  Since its establishment in 2010, by aligning halal practices with established standards, SMIIC aims to create a reliable and transparent system that instils confidence among consumers and facilitates trade within the global halal market.  The Gambia Standards Bureau has been an active contributor and player in the development and promotion of halal standards through its membership in SMIIC since 2012.

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