Download report here
REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT HALAAL REVIEW PANEL ON THE HALAAL CERTIFICATION OPERATIONS OF THE MUSLIM JUDICIAL COUNCIL HALAAL TRUST
Cape Town, 6 June 2012
The Independent Halaal Review Panel’s (IHRP) report on its findings on the halaal certification operations of the Muslim Judicial Council Halaal Trust (MJCHT) was released on Wednesday for public record. The report was prepared against the backdrop of the need to verify the integrity of halaal certification processes and address concerns regarding consumer confidence in halaal certified products in South Africa.
Over the last few months, the operations of the MJCHT have come under much public scrutiny. At the centre of this was an allegation of the passing off as Halaal of certain batches of non-halaal meats by players in the import sector. The IHRP was established to independently scrutinise the MJCHT certification function and processes and formulate its recommendations on how these processes could be improved upon.
The Scope of Work of the IHRP included a comprehensive review of the MJCHT’s halaal certification processes in relation to the slaughter of animals, processed products, corporate governance and financial aspects of the MJCHT.
In addition to engaging with the MJCHT and reviewing the MJCHT processes, the IHRP engaged various stakeholders in its review process and regularly called for written public submissions.
The report concludes that, amongst others, the MJCHT has substantive measures in place in order to achieve validity of its certification processes. However, a number of areas require significant improvement. The report calls for the compilation of a comprehensive manual covering certification, from the point of application to the issuing of a certificate, and the development of a comprehensive training programme for halaal inspectors.
The report further calls for the MJCHT to review its position on imported halaal meats as well as the processes used to certify such products, and to consider the application of a uniform standard for local and international certification.
The report also refers to governance issues and strongly recommends that the MJCHT consider mechanisms to improve its contract management and enforcement. The MJCHT should rationalise and optimise the use of its financial resources to ensure sufficient skills and capacities are allocated to the halaal certification process.
Haroon Kalla, chairman of the IHRP, said that “The decision by the MJCHT to open its doors to scrutiny is a historic one. The MJCHT is the only halaal certification authority in South Africa to have opened its doors to an independent review of this nature. This represents an immense leap of faith and is a milestone for the Muslim community of South Africa.”
On a broader front the report makes some progressive “game-changing” recommendations to the halaal industry:
- Sellers of imported products should be certified only if there is adequate traceability of their products to consignments that have been locally certified.
- All outlets irrespective of ownership (whether Muslim or otherwise) should be endorsed by a local certifier. This will close the door to abuse by participants in the halaal supply chain (whether importer, wholesaler, franchisee, retailer or processor).
- The adoption of a common set of halaal standards should be explored by all halaal certifiers in South Africa.
- The IHRP calls for the establishment of a halaal ombud to oversee and regulate all institutions offering halaal certification and halaal products and services.
The report can be viewed and downloaded at www.ihrp.org.za
- Report of the Independent Halaal Review Panel on the halaal certification operations of the Muslim Judicial Council Halaal Trust
All media and liaison queries can be directed to:
Media Liaison, Independent Halaal Review Panel
Mobile: 082 2164269
Tel: 021 706 0048 (O)
PANEL STEERING COMMITTEE FOR THE INDEPENDANT HALAAL REVIEW PANEL
|1. AbdulAzeez Davids||Qualified accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst|
|2. Fierdoz Omar||Chemical Pathologist at the National Health Laboratory Service and lecturer at the University of Cape Town|
|3. Haroon Kalla||BSc Pharmaceutics UK, member of pharmaceutical society, chartered marketer, & Businessman|
|4. Mickaeel Collier||Political Analyst & Consultant, specialist in Democratic Governance & International Relations|
|5. Nazli Abrahams||Attorney|
|6. Rafique Bagus||Masters degree in Economics and serves as Special Adviser to Minister Alec Erwin, Department of Public Enterprises|
|7. Sana-Ullah Bray||BA (Law) LLB & MDP. An admitted attorney and currently the Group Company Secretary of Sanlam Ltd &Sanlam Life|
|8. Shahid Sulaiman||Attorney & Islamic Scholar with degrees in Islamic Jurisprudence|
|9. Shaukat Fakie||Former Auditor General of the Republic of South Africa & has extensive expertise in auditing, business process improvement, governance, accountability and controls.|
|10. Shuaib Moerat||Medical Doctor & Regional Chairman of the IMA|
|11. Zameer Brey||Medical Doctor, healthcare Consultant and Lecturer|