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What do you need to know about Halal certification in Turkey?

Halal food is of vital importance in Turkey. 2014 saw $168 billion worth of halal food and beverages consumed by Turks - 98% of which identify as Muslim. The sector has the potential to a be a goldmine for halal exporters.

However, in order to export halal products to Turkey, the correct certifications must be awarded. 

Turkish halal food certification bodies

The main body responsible for awarding overseas companies halal certification on food imports is the Turkish Standards Institution (TSE). The TSE is the national standards body of Turkey. This should be all food exporters’ first port of call if looking to break into the Turkish market.

There is also the independent GIMDES body, which offers the same service as TSE but holds the extra distinction of being a recognised organisation by the World Halal Council. 

Frozen foods, meat, candy and snacks, canned food, baked goods, fruits, vegetables, beverages and condiments all fall under the umbrella of halal food. If you are in Turkey, chances are any of the food you eat will have been certified as halal by the TSE.

Read more: Turkish Standards Institution

Read more: GIMDES

What is covered by Turkey’s halal certification standards?

Turkish certifications are based on the preparation of foodstuffs, packaging and additives. Any ingredients or additives in food bound for Turkey have to be prepared in accordance with halal guidelines. 

Authorities will need information on factories, slaughterhouses and other associated food production facilities, to ensure their practices are halal. This means checking tools, staff and work areas to make sure everything is above board.

The process begins by filling out a TSE application form. These are attainable by contacting the TSE directly on their website, or one of their international offices. Companies applying for Turkish halal certified status will need to provide evidence their products and practices fall into line with expected standards.

The importance of halal food for Turkish Muslims

Like any variety of food and drink offerings, there is a myriad of regulations that apply to halal food. These are doubly significant for Muslims. The preparation and consumption of halal food is of huge religious impact for members of the Islamic community.

Muslims are only allowed to eat and drink dishes served and prepared using millennia-old halal guidelines. For context, halal is an Arabic word which means “legal” or “permitted” for Muslim consumers. If a foodstuff is considered “haram”, then it is against a Muslim’s religious beliefs to eat it. Haram means “forbidden by Allah” in Islamic terminology.

Certain foods, such as pork, are off limits to Muslims. Food must be slaughtered (if a meat product) or prepared in accordance with strict religious guidelines.

Massive religious significance, Turkey’s growing, convenience minded population, and the rise in number of foodstuffs available in Turkish markets means halal certification and product labelling is more important than ever. 

As young Turks are enjoying busy lifestyles, and their purchasing power is increasing, they are desiring pre-packaged, ready-to-eat offerings in larger quantities. As halal food falls under almost all product categories, this opens up some amazing avenues for halal producers to explore on the Turkish market. 

Spending on halal products is increasing annually. Turks spent $100 billion on halal goods in 2012. As mentioned above, this rose to $168 billion just two years later. 

WorldFood Istanbul is the perfect place to put your halal products in front of a captive audience of Turkey’s leading food industry figures. It is the place to be if you want to succeed on the Turkish market. Learn more about 2017’s show now.


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