Malaysia: The Industry Standard for Halal Knowledge Economy The Malaysian Government has long recognized the country’s unique advantage in developing and promoting the halal industry. As a modern Islamic state with an open economy, Malaysia has achieved significant accomplishments within the halal sphere, having pioneered the Malaysia halal standards and certification since the early 70s. Malaysia has also received numerous commendations from other nations for halal knowledge and certification know-how. The United Nations have also cited Malaysia as the best example in terms of rationalization for labelling of Halal food, when the Codex Alimentarius Commission adopted the Codex general guidelines for the use of the term “Halal” in Geneva in 1997.
This reference proved vital for Muslim consumers worldwide, as it provided for the first time, established parameters and guidelines on how to claim and label a food product as halal or otherwise. Not only as the first, Malaysia was also for a very long time, the only state in the world to have a sitting government providing full support to promote the voluntary halal certification scheme for Malaysian-based producers and service providers. The Government of Malaysia has in fact allocated two of its agencies to manage, develop and provide Malaysia Halal certification to the industry.
The agencies involved are the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC), an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industries, and the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (JAKIM) under the Prime Minister’s Department.
As consumers gain confidence in the Halal process, the industry also needs to keep up with the growing demand for their Halal products and services. Some of the challenges include maintaining a high and consistent quality of Halal products and services, comply with importing countries requirements, local food laws and regulations, and continue investing in research and development.
By investing in the Malaysian Halal standard, industry players will finally have access to Shari’ah compliant funds, which will enable them accelerate product development via the transfer of knowledge, skills and mindset and begin tapping the large and lucrative but highly underserved global halal market. With the advent HDC’s data pool system (see accompanying story), companies will also be able to work for mutual collaboration with industry peers. With such an early head start, and judging at the rate the halal industry is growing locally and abroad, Malaysia’s expertise and know-how in halal industry will indeed evolve as an accepted industry standard, and in the process, would open up new opportunities and capabilities for all involved., be it for the industry, the consumers as well as the regulators tasked to develop and promote the halal sector.


Halal is not merely a way of life – it is a global industry. With a stake in commercial sectors worldwide, halal development has become a significant contributor to all facets of economic growth.


The MS1500:2009, concerning halal food in Malaysia, is particularly significant because it was the first halal-related standard to appear among MABIMS-member countries (Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore) and it is the only one to achieve ISO compliance. The first Malaysian halal food standard (MS1500:2000) was published in the year 2000 and revised four years later which was formally recognized as MS1500:2004.

This standard sets as a reference for JAKIM to implement the certification and labeling of halal food and products. In this effort, JAKIM cooperates with a range of agencies such as the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism; the Ministry of Health; Veterinary Services Department; and state religious departments. JAKIM also collaborates with Islamic bodies outside of Malaysia that certify halal foods and goods meant for exports to Malaysia. These collaborations ensure that imported products meet MS1500 guidelines and only labels of JAKIM-accredited certifiers are recognized in Malaysia.

MS1500 is widely recognized internationally as a quality standard and has been adopted by countries such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and India for auditing purposes in those countries.


The first Malaysian halal food standard was published in 2000 and revised in 2004. MS1500 is recognised internationally as a quality standard and has been adopted by other countires


The recently launched Global Data Halal Pool (GDHP) by HDC (Halal Development Corporation) provides excellent opportunities on which the Amana will leverage. GDHP will bring together and connect accredited halal suppliers, manufacturers, product service providers, buyers and retailers in the global marketplace. GDHP would serve as a central point of control and access that enhance global marketplace penetration and provide a consolidated dashboard for supply chain management that upholds halal integrity.
Most importantly, it provides the basis of information, analysis and strategy needed by manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and even consumers. The GDHP is a collaborative effort between HDC and GS1 Belgium & Luxembourg, adopting standards with portfolio ranges from Barcodes to eComm (electronic commerce tools) to next generation technologies.
GS1, with head office in Belgium, is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency of supply and demand chains globally and across sectors.


The importance of Halal food in large-scale retail trade