reunion-en-cecoThe Halal Institute (Instituto Halal) signed today an agreement with the Moroccan Standardization Organization (IMANOR) for cooperation in the development of the Halal Concept in the Mediterranean and North of Africa. It also includes the exchange of practice in the certification, audit and training processes.

Instituto Halal’ CEO, Ms. Isabel Romero, stated that “Spain and Morocco are natural, neighbour markets, and Spain is the natural gate to the North of Africa”. The purpose of the agreement is that “Spanish companies join the halal business, which is gaining momentum at international level” and that “we start to be competitive as an international halal player”.

Thanks to this agreement, Spanish companies will be in “a better position to place their halal products in Morocco and the North of Africa”. Romero added that both organizations will start working together in the promotion, to help Spanish start-ups to attend Moroccan trade fairs, forums, and other events, and to develop commercial relations in the North of Africa”.

IMANOR has developed Morocco’s halal standard, which is being implemented in the country. In Spain, the main standard is the one developed by Instituto Halal in 2003. Romero commented that the Instituto Halal is working within the Spanish Normalization and Certification Association (AENOR) in the development of a national halal standard, which may be launched in a year. In this way, Spain will be in a position to start harmonizing the international standards in place at the moment.

On the other hand, Mr. Abderrahim Taibi, Director of IMANOR, pointed out that his organization and Instituto Halal “share their interest for the development of an international halal standard, so that Moroccan and Spanish companies can access other markets in the world and boost business opportunities”. This is particularly significant, as Spain has become the main supplier for Morocco.

According to the External Trade Institute (ICEX), since 2014 Spain is the first supplier for Morocco, ahead of France, with 13.1% of the total imports. The main products imported by Morocco are energy-related derivatives, such as gas-oil, fuel-oil, oil-gas and others, followed by cereals and industrial products.

Spain is also, with 21.8% of the total, the main customer for Moroccan exports, mainly phosphates and derivatives for fertilizers, a market led by Morocco, automobiles, agri-food products, textiles, pharmaceuticals, aeronautics and electronics.

CECO’s vicepresidents, Mr. Isidro López Magdaleno, of Magtel, and Mr. Francisco Torrent, of Aceitunas Torrent, received the Moroccan delegation after the agreement was signed. López Magdaleno encouraged the companies in Cordoba and Spain to take advantage of the commercial situation and consider halal-certified exports to our neighbour.

Official visit
Instituto Halal has received the visit of a delegation of IMANOR (the Moroccan Standardization Organization) with the purpose of strengthen relations and improve mutual knowledge on the halal market and halal certification in Spain and Morocco. During the whole week, several meetings and visits were scheduled together with audit inspections to halal-certified companies in all Spain.

IMANOR and Instituto Halal were received at the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, by the subdirector and the head of the General Subdirectorate for International Commerce of Agri-Food products, Mr. Agustín Velilla and Mr. Daniel Cascales. Other visits included the National Association of Meat Industries (ANICE) and the Islamic Commission of Spain (CIE) represented by Mr. Riay Tatary.

In 2013, Muslim consumers spent 1.3 billion dollars in food and drink in all the world. The growth of the market is expected to reach 2.5 billion euros in 2020, which would represent 21.2% of the global expenditure. The most noticeable growth is concentrated in Asia, followed by the Middle East and Africa. In Europe, home of 44 million Muslims, the halal food business is near 20 billion euro a year, 800 million euro in Spain. In Spain, there are 300 halal-certified companies, 95% of which in the food and beverage sector although Spain is the 8th world exporter of agri-food products.

The Halal Institute of Islamic Board (Instituto Halal de Junta Islámica) promotes a standardized development of the halal market in Spain through several initiatives, activities and projects, to integrate the halal lifestyle as a global concept. The term “halal” makes reference to products and services which comply with Islam, and means “permitted, healthy, ethical, non-abusive” and therefore, beneficial for human beings, animals and the environment. In their 16 years, the Halal Institute has certified more than 300 companies in several sectors, including Covap, Repsol or Mondelez.