When we think about Halal certification, we often find ourselves faced with a topic about which little is known: how it works, what the bases are, what standard we must compare with and what value it has, are all information that in many cases is companies that consumers do not know, and which are often not provided to them, by approximation or even for convenience.
Since one of the most important values from a Halal perspective is transparency, we at WHA intend with the following article to offer a general guideline information service, to be kept in mind when evaluating the service of a certification body.
The essential features
For a certification body to be defined as such, it must have the possibility – obviously – to certify the products of a company such as Halal, and to do so it must be in possession of accreditations from the bodies that deal with the production of technical standards in the field of ‘Halal.
In fact, as in all areas where there is a need for certification, accreditation bodies exist to define the technical standards to be respected in order to give certain products to be certified in a given way: a general example is the ISO standards. , an international organization that produces technical standards for all market sectors, which certifying bodies of all types must comply with in order for any of their certifications to have value.
Even the Accreditation bodies produce their own standards and control certification bodies: if an organization claims to issue Halal certifications on products, it must demonstrate that it release the certificate respecting the standards of the competent accreditation bodies on the subject, and these entities recognize its work as compliant with Halal standards, so its considered valid.
A certification without accreditations has no value, and this on the commercial level makes a huge difference, since a product certified Halal by a body without accreditations is not recognized as such in the market, therefore it cannot be marketed where compliance with standards is required. Halal official technicians.
Furthermore, the risk is to compromise their possibilities of commercial partnerships, since any subcontractors will not invest in a product that they cannot distribute themselves, and consumers will tend to avoid goods certified with an unreliable body, favoring instead those with an authoritative Halal brand.
The minimum service requirements
In order for a certification service to be conducted seriously, it must present basic procedures in its process that are essential for an authoritative and valid certification body.
Analysis of documents and production plants: without a rigorous analysis procedure, which leads to the identification (and documentation) of the criticalities present in the production in discussion – and to their resolution through the implementation of a management system, with the support of the body, aimed at obtaining and maintaining the Halal status of the products – the certification cannot have value (recognizable by the accreditation bodies) as there is no concrete analysis operation for the certification.
Without an in-depth report on the production lines, in fact, there is no possibility of verifying, and evaluating, compliance with the reference standards for the products to be certified.
For this requirement it is therefore essential to have specific personnel who will conduct all the necessary examinations, then drafting a report that must be evaluated by another internal body of the institution, in charge of verifying and validating the analysis delivered to it, based on a detailed comparison. with the rules of the Halal standard to be respected.
Concluding analysis of the certification committee: this very delicate phase is essential to ensure effective compliance with the Halal standards that must be adhered to.
In fact, the certification committee is a department within the body that is responsible for re-evaluating the relationship of the technicians who conducted the analysis at the client company, and meticulously verifies that all the steps comply with the technical standards and principles. Halal on which the certification is based.
Without this procedure, there can be no concrete guarantee that the analysis carried out complies with the Halal standard of reference, and for this very reason the accreditation bodies do not recognize organizations that do not also conduct this level of verification.
Costs and benefits
After having ascertained that the aforementioned characteristics are those essential to make a Halal certification valid, attention should therefore be paid to the following considerations:
An unreliable body often has lower rates because it does not spend on the correct provision of its service: in fact, if you do not conduct rigorous analyzes, if you do not respect the correct procedures and you do not get recognition from the accreditation bodies, you are cutting costs of all these phases in the certification process, and therefore a fictitious service is being offered that does not give any added value to the products, and does not make them Halal, neither from a religious point of view nor from a technical and commercial point of view.
An authoritative body, on the other hand, offers an honest and quality service, the costs of which are the correct enhancement of all the certification phases, and the rigorous and competent work carried out by the staff: this translates into a valid certification, recognized by the accreditation bodies and much sought-after after by consumers, which consequently leads to an effective expansion of its market and numerous partnership opportunities in countries where Halal standards are taken into consideration.
It is essential to acquire greater awareness of the type of certification to be applied, since the risks of an inadequate certification, not compliant with standards, are many, and range from non-protection of the final consumer to damage to the image for the company. .
Moreover, this can result in a loss of money linked to the need to repeat the certification process with an authoritative body, as the need to penetrate the Halal market is not satisfied by the unreliable certification body.
It is not unusual for the losses to be considerable, due to customs blockages, the absence of subcontractors and other business partners willing to sell the products, low demand from consumers who tend to favor more reliable brands, and other inconveniences related to actual lack of technical value of certifications issued by not very rigorous bodies.
Both from the point of view of saving as well as that of real gain, it is therefore a priority for companies that intend to obtain Halal certification to always check the working methods of the entities to which they turn, so as to protect their commercial interests and start a profitable partnership, with a reliable and competent organization.