The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system and a globally recognized accreditation body, recently became a signatory of a Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU) for the establishment of the International Halal Accreditation Forum (IHAF). IHAF, which held its first General Assembly meeting in Dubai, aims to harmonize conformity assessment practices in the Halal field [see related coverage], and establish Multilateral Recognition Agreements between member bodies that will facilitate Halal trade globally.
ANSI's Reinaldo Figueiredo, senior program director, accreditation of product certification bodies represented ANSI, which signed the MoU along with accreditation bodies: National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies, the Chamber of Commerce Argentine Emurati-CAMERA, Entidad Mexicana de Acreditacion, a.c. (MEXICO), the Italian National Accreditation Body-Accredia, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives-Thailand.
Halal products and services include food and beverages, cosmetics and personal care, pharmaceuticals, apparel, logistics, finance, tourism and hospitality, and more. Halal products are in high demand by various sectors, with stakeholders ranging from consumers, traders, manufacturers, and government. Halal accreditation bodies will serve to ensure safety and transparency in certifying and verifying Halal products, as demand for these products continues to grow.