First international Halal conference in Middle East officially opens
The Saudi capital of Riyadh makes history as the first ever international conference on halal food in the Middle East, the 1st International Conference on Halal Food Control & Exhibition, was officially opened yesterday (Sunday, Feb 12 2012) by the Governor of Riyadh, Prince Sattam Bin Abdul Aziz at the Intercontinental Hotel.
The event, which is held under the aegis of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, has attracted over 500 delegates and representatives from more than 20 countries. More than 50 organisations and companies exhibited at the conference.
Chairman of the organising committee the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) Mohammed Al-Kanhal said this is the first time such an event on halal food is to be held in the Kingdom.
“There are around 1.8 billion people in the world who consume halal food and its global market is valued at SR2 trillion,” he said, pointing to the fact that they aim to bring both scientific and religious scholars to a common platform to explore new ways of improving the global halal food industry, as well as to chalk out mechanisms to maintain a uniform check on the quality as well as the regulations adopted by the local authorities to ensure that the food consumed is halal.
The chairman said the conference will also incorporate international organizations and private institutions concerned to discuss this vital subject and request them to come up with recommendations which can enhance global trade and harmonize halal food requirements, conditions and control methods.
“Besides boosting public and private sector cooperation in the relevant food industry at national, regional and global levels, it would also serve as an ideal platform for exchange of experience between countries in the field of supervision and control of halal food.”
Speaking to Arab News after the press briefing, Ibrahim Al-Mohizea, vice president of SFDA for the food sector, who is also the executive chairman of the conference, said the organizing committee received 95 scientific papers from the participating countries, but unfortunately due to time and scope limitations, only 57 papers will be presented at the conference.
“They will be distributed across eight sessions and delegates will be able to exchange their ideas on various topics regarding halal food.”
He estimated that the food industry in the Kingdom produces goods worth SR250 million a day.
The official said the four-day conference is open to all irrespective of their faith. The main sessions will focus on genetically modified food, lawfulness of food additives, analysis methods of halal food, control of halal food, its standards, certification and countries’ experiences in halal food control.
There will be two panel discussions on stunning and automated mechanical slaughter and the lawfulness of food produced by biotechnology, nanotechnology and chemical changes.
He said the mission of the SFDA is to ensure the safety of food, quality and efficacy of drugs, and the safety and effectiveness of medical devices by developing and enforcing an appropriate regulatory system.
The SFDA was established under a Council of Ministers resolution as an independent body corporate that directly reports to the head of the council.
Control and testing activities are conducted at the SFDA or other contracted laboratories. The SFDA is also in charge of consumer awareness on all matters related to food, drug and medical devices and all other products and supplies.
Conference Notes Day 1
By Rahmad Al-Manar for HalalMedia.NET
- The event was officially opened by the Governor of Riyadh, Prince Sattam Bin Abdul Aziz.
- I estimated, there were 500 people in attendance during the opening ceremony. Among them are speakers from both local and international institutions, actual participants of the conference, foreign embassies representatives, foreign university students studying in Saudi and the Saudis.
- Local and international journalists covered the ceremony, but mostly are from the local media.
- Most speeches were delivered in Arabic, with instant English translation via headset (but it is very hard to understand it!).
- As I remember, there was only one person who spoke in English, and he was one of the attendees.
- Unfortunately, there are no documents or media kit such as keynote speeches, opening speeches, etc. handed out during the opening ceremony that were in English. All were in Arabic!
- The attendees received the conference kit containing books:
There is no exact info the total number of exhibitors:
- Speakers & Presentation Abstract (Arabic & English = 72+72=144 pages, A4)
- Overview of The Saudi Food & Drug Authority (Arabic & English = 41+47=88 pages, 1/2 legal paper size)
- Scientific Program (of the Conference) (Arabic & English =10+10=20 pages, A4)
- Exhibition Guide (Arabic & English =106 pages, A5)
- There are 58 exhibitors listed in Exhibition Guide book
- There are 54 exhibitors listed in Exhibition Floor Plan
- There are 67 exhibitors published in advance of the event in local newspapers (as published in a full page of Al-Jazirah newspaper on Sunday Feb 12, 2012)
Opening Ceremony of the Halal Food Control Conference & Exhibition in Riyadh
Feb 12, 2012. At 20.30-22.15.
King Faisal Hall, InterContinental Hotel, Riyadh.
Opening Ceremony Agenda:
1. Holy Quran recitation
2. Saudi Food & Drug Authority (SFDA) Executive President’s Speech
3. Islamic Chamber President’s Speech
4. Documentary Film Screening
5. Conference Attendees’ Speech
6. Sheikh Saleh Bin Hameed’s Speech.
7. Sponsors Honoring
8. Exhibition Opening
All notes and pictures are by Rahmad Al-Manar. Please email him for permissions to use.
Posted by admin
on 13.02.2012. Filed under H-INDUSTRY
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