Introduction to Taiwan Halal Integrity Development Association (THIDA)

The current world Muslim population has been estimated to be 1.5 to 1.6 billions, or 1 out of 4 persons in the world is a Muslim. It is estimated that the Muslim market is worth 800 billion to 1.2 trillion US dollars per year, a very significant new market.

Taiwan is an export-oriented vigorous industrial economy. Over the last several decades, it has always been able to produce and supply all kinds of relatively inexpensive products with excellent and stable quality, often catered for different markets. In the recent years, industries of various fields such as agriculture, seafood, processed food, food flavoring, healthy food, bio-tech, pharmaceutics, cosmetics, and even food machinery, have approached Mosques in Taipei, Taichung, and other cities for Halal certification. Nearly 400 enterprises have obtained Halal certificates for some of their products, which have been successfully exported to the global Muslim market. Thus, a very good foundation has been laid down for Taiwan’s Halal Industry to exploit.

A Halal certified product is a product certified to be in compliance with a series of manufacturing standards specified according to the Islamic Law or ‘Shariah’. These standards regulate all the related aspects of the products, including its ingredients, feeds and slaughtering if animal based material, manufacturing process, hygiene and safety requirements, packaging, labeling, and transportation, etc. Meticulous care must be taken during the certification process to exclude any ingredient that is not compliant to Islamic Law, or has been contaminated by any incompliant material. Not only Halal food is Islamically legal for Muslims to consume, also appeals to the current consumer market trend, healthy, hygienic, and safe. Therefore, Halal products have emerged as a very important new business opportunity.

Based on our experience, most of the Halal certificate holders were able to comply with the agreement signed up with us, the certifying bodies. There have been only a few uncertainties or violations of Halal agreements resulted from negligence, ignorance, or carelessness, and therefore legal actions or corrective measures had to take place. However, prevention is much better than cure. We have resolved to establish this organization for several reasons: 1) to ensure ‘Halalness’ to all Muslim consumers anywhere in the world; 2) to protect the Halal integrity of local certification bodies from mistakes or mishandling by a few black sheep; 3) to avoid consequences from such mistakes that may affect interests of other law-abiding companies; 4) to allow sharing of the limited resources of each individual Mosque in both the Shariah and technical fields. We plan to integrate the Halal teams of two Mosques, Taipei Cultural Mosque(TPCM) which is recognized by JAKIM, MUI, and MUIS, and Taichung Mosque(TCM) which is recognized by JAKIM and MUIS, to collectively shoulder the tremendous responsibility of Halal certification, and to offer more services to the Halal industry, such as promoting publicity, education and training for the Halal certificate holders, establishing technical specifications, and consultation, etc.

Furthermore, as the global Muslim market is developing robustly, we hope THIDA will serve as a platform for more collaboration between government offices, industry players, and academic institutions, promote legislation of government acts to facilitate the manufacturing and exporting of Halal products, help businesses dealing with Halal products be integrated horizontally and vertically, and invite academic arena in leading and guiding towards latest technologies, encourage establishing Islamic financial services and Muslim tourism, and participate in developing business opportunities in the Muslim markets. The services THIDA plans to gradually provide are shown with a ‘Functional Organization Chart’ below.

Halal Food (Appliance) Certification Service and International Recognition

THIDA will integrate the Halal certification service teams from various bodies in Taiwan, adopt unified certification standards and systems, to provide better service. In January 2012, we reached an agreement with the Chinese Muslim Association (CMA). Regarding the part of Halal certification service, we cooperate and divide the work. THIDA is responsible for the certification service of Halal food (exported food, including fresh fruits and vegetables) nationwide. As for catering, tourism, and slaughtering and meat products and other domestic certification affairs, they are uniformly responsible by CMA.

THIDA actively participates in international Halal certification affairs, has obtained written recognition from Halal certification bodies such as Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jabatan Kamajuan Islam Malaysia, JAKIM), Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Majlis Ugama Islam Singpura, MUIS), and The Halal Product Assurance Organizing Body (Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Produk Halal, BPJPH) of the Indonesian Ministry of Religion. We are the only certification body in Taiwan that has been recognized by BPJPH Indonesia, and we will become the only certification body in Taiwan that has been recognized by JAKIM Malaysia since 1st January 2013. In terms of international cross-national Halal organizations, THIDA is a member of the International Halal Integrity Alliance (IHI) and the World Halal Food Council (WHFC), and members recognize each other, increasing the credibility of THIDA’s certificates. Those who are interested in applying are welcome to visit THIDA’s website ( to check the relevant information of THIDA.

What is Halal?

Islam is a way of life, and there are regulations for everything in life, and clothing, food, housing, and transportation are no exception. What is permitted by the religious law (Sharia) is called Halal (the transliteration of the Arabic word حلال), which means “legal” or “permitted”. It is commonly referred to as “Qing-Zhen” in Chinese, specifically referring to food that complies with religious law (Sharia) and is edible for Muslims. The antonym is Haram (the transliteration of the Arabic word حرام), which means “illegal” or “prohibited”.

Why Halal certification?

In the past, there were fewer processed foods, Generally Muslims could judge whether a food was halal or not by its appearance and try to avoid foods with unknown ingredients. However, with the rapid changes in processing technology, the advancement of refrigeration equipment and the development of transportation, processed foods from various countries are available everywhere and have become inevitable consumer goods in daily life. Although many of these processed foods have ingredient labels, firstly, the laws and regulations of different countries may not require all ingredients to be listed in detail; secondly, the labeled ingredients may be professional names or manufacturer-specific names, so the general public may not know whether a certain ingredient is edible or not; and thirdly, some of the combined labeled ingredients contain several raw materials, so it is very difficult to determine whether a product is suitable for Muslims to consume by just looking at the ingredient labels. Therefore, in the past two decades, there has been an international demand for Halal certification, which is often carried out by Muslim organizations in conjunction with Shariah scholars and food and nutrition professionals, who take on the responsibility of checking and auditing food manufacturing to serve the food industry and the Muslim public. Generally, products that have passed the Halal certification can be authorized to display the Halal (حلال) mark, so that Muslim consumers know that they can consume the product with peace of mind.