Expanding Alberta’s halal capacity is part of Agriculture and Forestry's (AF) strategy for increasing trade with the Middle East and Southeast Asia, as well as diversification of opportunities in domestic and international markets. Halal Expo Canada 2019 is North America’s only business-to-business event dedicated to the halal lifestyle industry. Held in Mississauga, Ontario from October 8 to 9, 2019, the event included featured presentations and panel discussions from leaders in the global industry.
In its first edition, Halal Expo Canada turned out to be a relatively small yet focused show, which brought together the key players in the halal industry including the certification bodies, meat companies, food processors and key hospitality industry contacts. The show included international participants from the United States, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey and the Philippines among others. There were about 1,500 industry buyers and professionals and 71 exhibiting companies from 22 countries.
Canvita Canada and Sungold Meats were Alberta companies who exhibited at the event. In addition, Alberta Halal Monitoring and Certification Council (AHMCC) walked the show to connect with other certifiers and promote their services to clients.
“Based on initial feedback, Alberta companies reported estimated sales of over $300,000 and generated more than 30 solid business leads at the show,” says Aarij Bashir, trade and relations officer with AF. “Canvita also participated in the panel discussion on availability of medicine and supplements in North America that follow halal standards.”
While there are significant opportunities for export of halal products to international markets, catering to the North American halal industry is one of the major priorities for Alberta’s industry. This is due to the proximity of the market, a large and relatively affluent consumer base and low competition.
Halal Expo also included panel discussions on various aspects of the industry including the need for uniform standards for halal certification across Canada. There is some work in progress to create an umbrella organization for halal certification in Canada, which will include all the major certification bodies. In addition, accreditation to foreign countries was one of the main agendas of the event to ensure Canadian products can benefit from increased market access especially in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
For more information on this mission, connect with Aarij Bashir: