Consulate of Lebanon hosts dinner for Muslim community in Sao Paulo in commemoration of Ramadan.

Ali Saifi, executive director of CDAL HALAL, talks about the certification of products and food for the Arab market

Trade between Arab Countries and Brazil is increasing and for Brazilian entrepreneurs to market and export the products to the great Arab market, it is necessary that all the raw material and procedures of manufacture of the product or food undergo a rigorous ensuring that all steps are carried out within the Halal Certification process.

Ali Saifi, executive director of CDAL HAHAL, spoke about the importance of the halal seal, the Islamic religion and what the trade figures represent for the Brazilian economy. You have exclusive chat.

Arabzili: Some people, Brazil and the world, completely distort the essence of Islam. How does CDIAL HALAL analyze fake news?

Ali Saifi: There is a veritable wave of fake news attacks on Islam. The CDIAL (Center for the Dissemination of Islam for Latin America) and the entire Islamic world community always seek to be examples of good people. The CDIAL is focused on spreading the truth about Islam to all communities and media. In no way can we accept these charges, even if they are false and return with the same coin, accusing the faith of others and unacceptable situations. It is not our goal to blame any religion for any act, we want more union and not massacres.

Arabzili: How to fight Islamophobia?

Ali Saifi: Islamophobia is the new disease of the 21st century. The fight against this evil must be focused, that is, in spreading the truth. In the last 1400 years, the world-wide Islamic community developed, grew and also had, like any other religion, its problems, but it acted correctly. We were responsible for great revolutions in mathematics, medicine, benefiting the world population. The human atrocities better known as 1st and 2nd world wars and others such as Hitler etc had nothing to do with Islam, ie with the Muslim community. In fact, we have problems in a small part, a small number of people who integrate into the Islamic world and interpret in the wrong way. But this is not our exclusivity. This happens to everyone, but the focus now is to attack Muslims. The world does not realize the catastrophes that have happened to our people in New Zealand, Palestine, Myanmar, etc. They were people of other religions, but not for that, I can accuse some people in the name of a religion.

I am very sorry that leaders of other religions who, instead of showing the benefits of their own religion, end up attacking other people’s religions to have their own interests or to use in political matters. We need more beneficial dialogues between religions.

Arabzili: What are the plans to continue the rapprochement between Brazil and the Arab world?

Ali Saifi: We are basically waiting for a more assertive and clear position from the Brazilian government. Our intention is to make the Government understand the importance of this market for the economic development of the country as for exporting companies. We have a project called CDIAL ACADEMY, which has two focuses: to train companies that already know the halal process, so that they can know this market more properly and present information to companies interested in joining this gigantic business. These are very high numbers and an important opportunity for the development of the country.

Ali Saif speaking at the International Congress of Islamic Communities in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates – Photo: Reproduction / Arabzili

Arabzili: Currently in Brazil there are an expressive number of people living the teachings of the Islamic religion. There is a greater concentration of adherents to Islam and mosques in the Southeast, correct?

Ali Saifi: Yes

Arabzili: Is there any kind of project, especially for the Brazilian Northeast, in order to present the true meaning of the Islamic religion and the production / commercialization of Halal foods / products?

Ali Saifi: Yes, there are mosques in this region that act properly showing true Islam.

Arabzili: How can a small Northeastern entrepreneur become aware of and prepare to produce and market his raw material based on Halal Certification?

Ali Saifi: Just get in touch with Cdial Halal then we’ll do an analysis on your products and a report outlining what changes, product and company adaptations will be needed. It is a market in constant evolution and few understand of this segment. If companies walk according to Islamic laws, there is a gigantic and very lucrative market. By 2060, we will be around 3 billion Muslims in the world. And this whole population needs food and other items to survive.

Arabzili: In economic terms, how important is Brazil to be a producer and exporter of Halal food / products?

Ali Saifi: Halal global consumption in 2017 was US $ 2.1 trillion, according to the Globe Report on the Islamic Economy 2018/2019 of the DIEDC (Dubai Economic and Social Development Center) and the halal food segment was the most consumed, resulting in $ 1.3 trillion; apparel (US $ 270 billion); (US $ 177 billion), among others. With nearly 62 percent of global Muslim spending, halal food and drink continued to be the largest Muslim expense, and by 2023 this consumption is expected to reach $ 1.9 trillion. The largest consuming countries for halal food and beverages in 2017 were Indonesia ($ 170 billion); Turkey (US $ 127 billion); Pakistan ($ 118 billion); Egypt (US $ 86 billion); Bangladesh ($ 76 billion); Iran ($ 63 billion); Saudi Arabia (R $ 51 billion); Nigeria (US $ 47 billion); Russia ($ 41 billion) and India ($ 38 billion). Halal food exports by Islamic countries totaled $ 124.8 billion in 2017, while imports totaled $ 191.5 billion – plant products ($ 92.5 billion); food processing inputs (US $ 63.2 billion); and meat and live animals (US $ 35.9 billion).

Ali Saif at the International Congress of Islamic Communities in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates – Photo: Reproduction / Arabzili

Arabzili: What is the percentage and / or representativeness of the Brazilian Northeast in the production and commercialization of Halal foods / foods? Is there still a big difference when compared to the southeast?

Ali Saifi: Northeast has a small representation and needs to be better explored.

Arabzili: Does the CDAL HALAL face any barriers in carrying out its mission in Brazil?

Ali Saifi: I would not say difficulty but challenges. We need you to understand the importance of this market and its capacity to create jobs in Brazil. If government agencies understand this importance, it can be very positive for the Brazilian economy.

Arabzili: How important is CDALAL HALAL to Brazilian society?

Ali Saifi: Cdial Halal is an international certifier renowned and recognized by the Arab countries for its suitability and professionalism. Cdial Halal has already certified products for over 150 countries. The company has expertise to help expand companies that want to export their products to Muslim communities around the world. It is a certifier specializing in halal products – general foods, cosmetics and others. It is one of the largest and most important halal certifiers in the world. It is the only one in Latin America that has received ISO 9001: 2015 certification from ABS Quality Evalutions for poultry and beef and halal industrialized products. He grew focused on his business with activities related to the slaughter of chickens, turkeys, ducks and cattle, including also industrialized products. The entire product certification process follows the international Islamic criteria – authorities that control the halal certification of countries – such as the ESMA Committee – Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology; MUI (Majelis Ulama Indonesia); MUIS (Majelis Ugama Islam Singapore); JAKIM (Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia); World Islamic League of Saudi Arabia.

For more information just go to the CDAL HALAL website

CDIAL HALAL is a global benchmark in Halal Certification, maintaining strategic partnerships with world-class companies of the food industry. A significant part of its investments is targeted at the training and qualification of its collaborators, at the quality management, food security, animal welfare, and at the ongoing expansion of its productive capacity, in order to meet the market demands.
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