Halal refers to different types of food products that are prepared in accordance with the Islamic regulations and laws that determine what is clean, lawful, and permissible. Notably, for the past decade, the market for halal food products has grown significantly. Nonetheless, the positive market growth and increased revenue are attributed not only to the Islamic communities but also non-Muslims. Interestingly, Pakistan is one of the Islamic states that lag behind in the production and export of Halal foods. Pakistan is an agricultural country, something that should enable the nation provide almost all raw materials required in the preparation of halal foods. As a result, the above-mentioned scenario has brought about a serious and acrimonious debate among Muslim countries that consider Halal as their way of life. As such, this paper identifies and analyses some of the potential domestic barriers hindering Pakistan from marketing and, hence, manufacture of Halal foods and beverages.
Most Halal food products manufacturers in Pakistan lack awareness of the existing wide market for Halal foods (Kirk, 2011). In fact, non-Islamic states have in the recent past associated Halal to ethical, safe, and healthy foods, hence fit for human consumption. However, Pakistan has failed to recognize the potential opportunities and benefits the Halal food industry presents to the country’s annual gross domestic products (GDP). Interestingly, a good number of Halal meat producers in Pakistan only think Halal food products in terms of meat and chicken rather than having a wider picture of other agricultural products (Wilson, 2012).
Apart from that, Pakistan lacks an effective halal food products certification system. Currently, Pakistan’s export in terms of halal foods makes less than 0.1 percent of the total world’s market (Tieman, Vorst, van der & Ghazali, 2012). As a result, the halal food manufacturers in Pakistan cannot attain global attention since the unavailability of the certification system proves as a major hurdle for the domestic halal companies. There is poor product development and branding. Based on this, prospective investors blame the government for laxity as they cannot market their products to clients who value standardization. According to Wilson (2012), Pakistan can fetch up to $30 billion from surplus halal food products. The absence of proper certification directly affects any attempt by the manufacturers to market their halal products in Pakistan and overseas countries (Tieman, Vorst, van der & Ghazali, 2012).
Typically, the Pakistan food industry lacks adequate funding for further agricultural inventions and technological innovations in relation to crop and animal growth and development. Contrarily, agriculture is the main economic activity in Pakistan, which contributes approximately 24 percent of the country’s GDP (Bhokari, 2007). The above two statements show that the country should be the leading halal food manufacturer among the Islamic countries. However, the government is playing the least possible role to intervene and help farmers and manufacturers. When there is inadequate funding, halal food product producers may not market their products effectively (Kirk, 2011).
In summary, the paper has examined potential marketing barriers for halal food products in Pakistan. However, it is evident that the country in question should be the leading halal manufacturer among Islamic nations. As Pakistan is an agricultural country, it should be in a position to provide the required agricultural produce necessary for halal foods. The absence of a working certification system, inadequate funding, and lack of awareness are all attributed to the failure of Pakistan to market its halal food products. In relation to the above scenarios, the Pakistan government should take an initiative to revamp the production of halal foods, especially by funding manufacturers.
Bokhari, A. (2007). Initiative to enter global Halal Market. Retrieved April 17, 2015 from http://www.halalrc.org/images/Research%20Material/Literature/Initiative%20to%20enter %20global%20halal%20market.pdf
Kirk, R. (2011). 2011 Report on Technical Barriers to Trade, Office of the United States Trade Representative (March 2011), Issues Related to Trade in Halal Products, p. 153.
Tieman, M., Vorst, J. van der, G. &, Ghazali, M. (2012). Principles in halal supply chain management. Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 217-243
Wilson, J. (2012). The new wave of transformational Islamic marketing. Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 5-11.
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