On June 10, International Islamic Food Processing Association (“IFPA”) and the Kazakhstan Organic Production Union (“Union”) held a round table meeting to discuss development of organic agri-food in Kazakhstan especially concentrating on promoting Halal and organic together for sustainable development.
During the meeting H.E. Sheikh Bilal Khan, Director General and CEO of IFPA shared his vision on the organic agri-food sector combing some of the best practices and international standards with Islamic ethical principles for ensuring environmental sustainability. Organic agriculture has benefits for the environment, for farmers and for public health, as it sustains the fertility of soils and ecosystems, and rewards farmers with sustained benefits through the sales growth of organic production worldwide.
Mr. Arsen Kerimbekov, Director of the Union, highlighted the importance of the organic sector and noted that Kazakhstan has an extensive land area of one million unused hectares with unlimited potential for Halal organic agriculture, both in the production of dairy and meat and in the cultivation of organic crops. The Union comprises of 62 members and currently has combined 300,000 hectares of certified soil by EU standards.
Parties agreed to continue their mutual discussions to define the framework for future cooperation in the development of Halal organic agriculture through the establishment of a trusted organic guarantee system, organic production standards, technical regulation of control and certification and accreditation mechanism under the OIC umbrella of the Islamic Organization for Food Security (“IOFS”), which is the parent organization of IFPA, and in close coordination with the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (“SMIIC”).