WHF 2012

Since its inception in 2006, the World Halal Forum (WHF)’s annual gatherings can be roughly divided into several phases; in years one and two, the main thrust was promotion and publicity for the Halal concept; in the next three years, the WHF was primarily concerned on developing standards and best practices, as well as consolidating the Halal sector’s position as an important global market force. In 2011, the WHF was more focused on providing solutions and opening up new areas within the broader Halal marketplace with a general view that the Halal sector is about to enter a new phase of growth and maturity – exploring the idea that there is an emergent convergence of forces and activities that will develop into a recognisable Halal economy.
WHF has since become part of the Malaysian government's 15-year plan to become the world's Halal hub. Themed ‘Inspire • Innovate • Invest’, WHF 2012 took a different spin, going beyond its usual exploration of business perspectives and reached out towards the grassroots with its primary focus on consumer issues, as well as helping the industry's understanding on its beneficial values, to Muslims and non-Muslims alike such as the concept of wholesome or tayyib, issues within the currency system, understanding of current Muslim consumer markets, role of law in establishing limits in a high-tech webciety, importance of distinguishing between trade barriers and trade enhancers, animal welfare, poverty eradication, and education, amongst others.
WHF, in its seventh edition, envisaged a forum that serves as a platform for a dialogue of doers on issues, challenges and opportunities that are universal and affects all ages, creeds and cultures at the grassroots level. WHF sees a time to inspire, innovate and invest in a lifestyle based on values – a future where Halal is a principle shared by everyone, regardless of faith.
What’s a business to some is a lifestyle to others, and what is a lifestyle to some is a business to others. With this interconnectedness in mind, WHF 2012 brought about a programme that fuses business and lifestyle elements, with universal values as a common ground. Throughout the two-day forum, the focus areas previously mentioned were discussed under these titles, intertwined with creative interludes by Imran Ahmad, author of UK bestseller, Unimagined, entitled “Muhammad, Jesus and James Bond”, as well as Australian graphic designer and artist, Peter Gould, entitled “Designing for the New Muslim Consumer”:

1.            On Halal & Tayyib – Interacting with leading Islamic scholars
2.            Gold & Silver – A new currency in trade & investment
3.            Halal consumer market trends & insights
4.            International trade – Issues & opportunities
5.            Regulation – Comparing models
6.            The influence of media & entertainment
7.            New sectors & opportunities

World Halal Forum 2012 Performance
Number of delegates    720
Countries Represented 43
WHF 2011

Since its inception in 2006, the World Halal Forum (WHF)’s annual gatherings can be roughly divided into three phases; in years one and two, the main thrust was promotion and publicity for the Halal concept; in the following three years, the WHF was primarily concerned on developing standards and best practices, as well as consolidating the Halal sector’s position as an important global market force. Held on 4-5 April 2011 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia, the WHF 2011 was more focused on providing solutions and opening up new areas within the broader Halal marketplace with a general view that the Halal sector is about to enter a new phase of growth and maturity.

Themed “Towards a Halal Economy – the Power of Values in Global Markets”, WHF 2011 focused on exploring the idea that there is an emergent convergence of forces and activities that will develop into a recognisable Halal economy. However, in order for the Halal economy to evolve, there are several conditions that needed to be nurtured, and it was these topics that the WHF 2011 chose to highlight, which included:

  • The convergence of Islamic finance with the Halal sector
  • New regulatory procedures, especially the formation of new accreditation bodies
  • Positioning Halal values in mainstream markets
  • Major trends in the global market
  • The role of the media
  • New emerging sectors

The opening session’s Keynote Address was delivered by YAB Tun Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi, Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, who has been a patron and supporter of the Halal initiative for many years. Tun Abdullah reviewed many of the achievements of the WHF since its launch in 2006, and drew special attention to the notion that the convergence of the Halal sector and Islamic Finance can be a dynamic catalyst to spur new growth in both sectors.
Apart from discussions and deliberations, the WHF 2011 became a platform for the following:

  • The launch of the new SAMI (Socially Acceptable Market Investments) Halal Index, an initiative by IdealRatings Inc, and Thomson Reuters. This is the world’s first Halal food index, and it was significant to have it launched on the WHF stage by Tun Abdullah Badawi.
  • A three-way MoU between IdealRatings, Thomson Reuters and the World Halal Forum (which accompanied the SAMI Halal Index launch) to collaborate in the development and promotion of the SAMI Halal Index as a key platform to position Halal food as a key asset class for Islamic fund investments.
  • TPM Biotech Sdn Bhd and IHI Alliance signed a memorandum of agreement to formally endorse their strategic alliance to conduct consultation, training and workshops on the setting up of laboratories for Halal testing and analysis.
  • The first volume of “The Halal Index”, titled “Pig-based Pharmaceuticals”, which covers the pharmaceutical compounds derived from porcine (pig-based) origin, was launched by Dr. Zhari Ismail from Universiti Sains Malaysia and Ustaz Zainal Abidin from the Malaysia Department of Islamic Development (JAKIM). “The Halal Index” book, a groundbreaking endeavour and a first of its kind, was published by Phytorex Press and also include a list of alternative sources to current porcine-based compounds used in the pharmaceutical industry.

The WHF 2011 closed with affirmations that:

    • The development of the SAMI Halal Index would indeed be a catalyst to spur the growth of the Halal sector, and that this new convergence would also open up a new chapter in the world of Islamic finance, especially for fund managers looking for new investment opportunities.
    • The two major milestones of WHF 2011, namely, were the first major steps toward the convergence of Halal and Islamic Finance, and recognition of the importance of Halal accreditation schemes to be developed, especially in the non-Muslim world.
    • The regular appearance of so many new players in the market is a very good sign for the future. New players will bring new ideas, new products and services, and will help us all to speak with greater confidence, and to play a stronger leadership role in the Halal market.
    • The WHF was in the process of undergoing re-structuring to position itself in the not-for-profit sector, and that it should become a member-based organisation with an Executive Board and an Advisory Board, with greater transparency and more member participation. WHF had to not just be a two-day event, but must become a 365-day event, with a new online interface to become the ‘centre of the conversation’ about Halal.
World Halal Forum 2011 Performance
Number of delegates    319
Countries Represented 113
WHF Europe 2010
Held at the Earl’s Court Conference Centre in London on 10-11 November, the 2nd World Halal Forum Europe was held with the theme “Halal Products and Services – Going Mainstream”

Highlights from the WHFE included

  • There is a growing concern that the proposed ‘Amendment 205’ due to be presented before the European Parliament bill to enforce labelling of meat from un-stunned slaughter will stigmatise Halal and Kosher meat products and this does not comply with World Trade Organisation guidelines on preventing unnecessary barriers to trade.
  • There is a pressing need for the formation of independent national accreditation agencies that will develop clear standards, advise, monitor and regulate the activities of the various Halal certification bodies, particularly in the non-Muslim world.
  • Clearer labelling for Halal food is necessary to enable consumers, both Muslim and
    non-Muslim, to make informed choices as to what they are buying and eating.
  • The mainstream media’s handling of the Halal food issues in the Western world is
    consistently characterised by misinformation, bias and provocative language that
    fans the flames of controversy without offering any solutions. There needs to be
    more balanced input from responsible media, including the Muslim media, to
    provide a clear and unbiased picture of Halal-related subjects.
  • The extent of the domination of the Halal food market by multinational
    companies is becoming ever clearer. There is a pressing need for more Muslims to get involved in this industry, from the perspective of food production as well as research, innovation and investment.
  • Halal, if managed intelligently, has the potential to be a significant engine of growth for the UK economy. In the light of the current economic climate, these issues needs to be explored, not sensationalised.
  • Resolutions:

  • The WHFE drafted a formal declaration to oppose amendment 205 that was sent to Muslim Members of the European Parliament to lobby in Brussels. (Amendment 205 was dropped and was not passed into law)
  • A four-way agreement was signed by The International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI), The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), The American Halal Association (AHA) and the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). These four bodies will collaborate on issues relating to Halal Standards development and the formation of a network of national Halal Accreditation bodies to ensure greater integrity throughout the supply chain.
World Halal Forum Europe 2010 Performance
Number of delegates    153
Countries Represented 31
WHF 2010
The 5th World Halal Forum held on June 21 and 22 2010 at KL Convention Centre was a huge success opening to a highly charged and fully packed hall of over 800 delegates and industry stalwarts from over 35 countries across the world. For some of the repeat delegates, the feedback was that this was the best World Halal Forum held to date!

As the prestigious gathering place for all experts, scholars and players in the industry, WHF 2010 yet again provided an excellent networking platform for all participants.

Malaysian Prime Minister YAB Dato' Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak who delivered the keynote address during the opening ceremony urged the industry to think bigger as a Halal Economy: “We need to think beyond industries and move into the larger realm of a Halal Economy. A value based economy rooted in trust, integrity and fairness. And why not? Halal has thrived and will continue to thrive on innovation. Furthermore, Muslims account for one fifth of the global population, with between 1.4 and 1.8 billion spread across 148 countries worldwide, and these numbers continue to grow.”

Host of WHF 2010, International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance), announced and presented four published Global Halal Standards (ICCI-IHI Alliance Halal Standard), which were available for purchase at the forum.

World Halal Forum 2010 Performance
Number of delegates    820
Countries Represented 37
MOU signing 4
PR value in Malaysia RM 15 million
WHF 2009
The World Halal Forum (WHF) 2009 saw a gathering of the heads of states, industry leaders and academics under one roof to voice their concerns, outline issues, and plot the future direction of the global Halal industry, which brought together 908 participants from over 47 countries and attracted over 52 local and international media personnel. WHF 2009 generated in excess of RM9,697,524.75 in PR value from the Malaysian media alone.
In line with the theme of WHF 2009, the International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI Alliance) took centre stage as host of the event, with a dedicated Standards stream to discuss the development of a globally accepted Halal standard.
Introducing the new format for the fourth WHF; The Standards stream deliberated on the proposed framework for the Global Halal Standard that includes five out of ten modules: Logistics; Foodservice; Animal Welfare; Animal Slaughter for Poultry; and Animal Slaughter for Bovine and Ovine.
Parallel to the Standards stream was the Business and Trade stream, which principally involved captains of the industry, as well as representatives from major Halal producing nations, who were invited to partake in deliberations on the latest developments in the Halal industry on a global scale.
The fourth WHF kicked off with the Minister of International Trade and Industry delivering his opening speech, followed by a keynote address from the Chairman of the World Halal Forum and President of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), H.E. Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel.
World Halal Forum 2009 Performance
Number of delegates    908
Countries Represented 53
MOU signing 15
PR value in Malaysia RM 9.7 million
WHF 2008
World Halal Forum 2008, surpassed all expectations. Themed "Sustained Development through Investment & Integration", the forum was attended by over 1,200 delegates, Heads of State, Ministers, governors, industry leaders, and international media representing 57 countries and the leading global producers of Halal products and services, further establishing the World Halal Forum as the Premier event in the Halal Industry.

VIPs in attendance included:

  • YAB Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia
  • HE Mohammad Abul Hassan, Head of Kuwaiti Delegation, Special Envoy of Kuwait PM
  • HE Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, World Halal Forum Chairman
  • YAB Tan Sri Datuk Patinggi (Dr.) Hj Abdul Taib Bin Mahmud, Chief Minister of Sarawak
  • YAB Datuk Dr Md. Isa Sabu, Menteri Besar Perlis
  • YB Tan Sri Dato' Muhyiddin Yassin, Minister of International Trade and Industries
  • HE Dr Ir Anton Apriyantono, Minister of Agriculture, Republic of Indonesia
  • Mr. Marwan Al Khatib, Managing Director of Dubai Islamic Investment Group (DIIG)
  • YB Datuk Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Minister in the PM Department
  • YB Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui, Minister of Plantation Industries & Commodities,
  • Mr. Ömer Faruk Doğan, Deputy Undersecretary of Foreign Trade, Republic of Turkey
World Halal Forum 2008 Performance
Number of delegates    1190
Countries Represented 57
MOU signing 7
PR value in Malaysia RM 10.2 million
WHF 2007
The inaugural World Halal Forum was a major success. The Prime Minister of Malaysia and Chairman of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), Datuk Seri Haji Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, presented his vision for the role of the Halal industry in Malaysia and in the OIC nations. One key element for success will be the Halal Industry Development Corporation, or HDC.

A total of 914 participants from industry, media, NGOs, and government gathered for three days and opened a new era for the Halal industry. An extensive and well-coordinated media and PR campaign resulted in an unprecedented RM6 million in media value in print, TV and online coverage.

WHF 2007 produced results. Two resolutions were unanimously adopted by the Forum that will change the face of the Halal industry by

a) creating an International Halal Industry Alliance to give the industry a unified voice and focus, and

b) lobbying for the creation of a fund to promote the Halal industry among OIC nations and Muslim minorities around the world.

The prospects for the World Halal Forum 2008 are extremely exciting. Initial response indicates that it will be significantly bigger and more influential than in 2007, with greater participation and recognition from relevant governments.

If you are in the Halal industry, you will have to be in Kuala Lumpur on the 12th and the 13th of May 2008. We look forward to welcoming you to what is shaping up to be an exceptional event.

World Halal Forum 2007 Performance
Number of delegates    914
Countries Represented 37
MOU signing 5
PR value in Malaysia RM 4.42 million
WHF 2006
The World Halal Forum, established in 2006 has become part of the government of Malaysia’s 15 year plan to become the worlds halal hub. In its inaugural year of 2006, the World Halal Forum established it’s place as the most significant event of the Halal industry calendar. For the first time market leaders from all sectors of the Halal market value chain gathered to discuss and address the issues facing this developing market sector.

The event was positioned as a global Forum for the industry and government players in the halal market. It has been intended from the outset of the WHF to have a comprehensive global reach, and at the same time to strategically position Malaysia at the focal point of the halal industry. The halal chapter in the 3rd Industrial Master Plan prepared by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry in 2006 cited the World Halal Forum is to be held in Malaysia as an annual event.

The keynote address was delivered by YAB Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia.

World Halal Forum 2006 Performance
Number of delegates    463
Countries Represented 27
PR value in Malaysia RM 3.79 million