China will check and rectify the trend of over-generalization of halal food, Xinhua learned Tuesday [31 May 2016]. An official from the State Ethnic Affairs Commission told Xinhua that local departments will ban unlawful authentication of halal food in their jurisdictions. The commission will improve systems and mechanisms for the administration of halal food, and crackdown on fake halal food…Full Article: Xinhua Finance June 2016

Key Point

  • The Chinese government views halal food as a custom of its Muslim population as opposed to food restrictions based on Islamic Sharia law.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In April 2016, China and New Zealand signed a halal food agreement in which China would recognize the latter’s halal certification system for food exports.
  • From January to September 2015, New Zealand exported 77,672 MTs of halal certified meat (~33% of all halal meat exports) to China.
  • In June 2014, Malaysia was exploring opportunities to export halal food products including lemongrass tea, chocolate and cookies. Malaysia’s Director-General of Agriculture noted that his organization will be working with exporters to ensure they are halal compliant.
  • Halal (‘permissible’ in Arabic) meat is a meat products that has been slaughtered/produced in accordance with Islamic law. This typically means the ritualistic (Dhabihah) slaughtering of livestock.
  • China has an estimated Islamic population of 24 to 25 million people, with western China (Xinjiang Region, Qinghai Province, Gansu Province, and Ningxia Region) holding the largest share.

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