Internationally, the Muslim Judicial Council Halaal Trust (MJCHT) is well-known and acknowledged by various renowned Halal Certifying Bodies or Authorities (HCB) from numerous countries, for example – Malaysia (JAKIM), Singapore (MUIS), Indonesia (MUI), Egypt, Arab United Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait; Australia, Pakistan and India, etc.
Prior to 1945, the Muslim Ulama of Cape Town pioneered the establishment and organization of halal certification in South Africa. The MJCHT catapulted the concept of halal certification into the international halal arena by laying the fundamental blocks for halal-assurance, halal-control, halal food development and halal-services.
This gave the MJCHT recognition, not only as the oldest organization for halal certification in South Africa, but also the first halal certifying authority, as an organization, in the world.
According to a publication commissioned by the International Trade Centre (ITC), which is based in Geneva, Switzerland and is the joint Agency of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and United Nations (UN), the MJC Halaal Trust (MJCHT) is the first and oldest Halal Regulatory Body in the world.
In their 2015 publication titled “Ḥalāl Goes Global”, under the heading, “The Evolution of Ḥalāl Regulations” (p.32) :- they state that:
“1945 – The Muslim Judicial Council Halaal Trust was formed in Cape Town, to ensure that Islamic dietary laws are adhered to for the Muslims in South Africa.””
Thus, this official document by the ITC confirms the global status of the MJC Halaal Trust (MJCHT) as the 1st and oldest Ḥalāl Regulatory Body in the world.
Locally, the MJCHT also enjoys recognition from the South African government, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Department of Trade & Industry, Wesgro and many other government structures for the responsible and active role that the Halaal Trust plays in the halal certification of consumable commodities.
International Trade Centre’s confirmation of the MJC Halaal Trust (MJCHT) as the 1st and oldest Ḥalāl Regulatory Body in the world.
Extract from the International Trade Centre’s Halal Goes Global
After the MJCHT’s establishment 1945, the following country’s initiated halal certification organizations:
1969 In Thailand, the office of the Sheikhul Islam issued a halal certificate to a company exporting poultry products to Kuwait.
1974 The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM), under the prime Minister’s Office, started issuing halal certification letters for products that met JAKIM’s criteria.
1974 A delegation from Saudi Arabia recommended that the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) should become the sole authority in the country to certify meat that had been killed in accordance with Islamic rites.
1975 Islamic Services of America began halal verification and certification in the state of Iowa.
1978 The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore formally became the sole custodian of halal certification in Singapore.
1979 The Central Islamic Brazilian Halal Food Center was formed as the operational arm of the Federation of Muslim Associations of Brazil to develop and implementation of the halal concept in Brazil.
1982 The Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America was formed by Muslim scientists and scholars in Bedford, Illinois. They wrote a textbook in 1984, Islamic Dietary Laws and Practices. They conducted seminars and workshops with the US Dept of Agriculture and some Christian and Jewish groups to increase the awareness of the need for more halal food resources in America.
1983 The Australian Quarantine Inspection Service introduced the Australian Government Muslim Slaughter programme to control the production of halal meat products for export.
1984 The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand signed the first annual contract with the New Zealand Meat Producers Board (later the Meat Industry Association) to provide halal certification services in exchange for remuneration.
1989 The Assessment Institute for Foods, Drugs and Cosmetics, the Indonesian Council of Ulama (AIDC ICU/LP POM MUI) was established by MUI to look into halal regulations.
1994 In Malaysia, confirmation of halal compliance was given in the form of a certificate with a halal logo.
1994 The Halal Science Centre was established in Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.
1994 The Halal Food Authority was launched in 1994 as an independent organization to monitor and authenticate the halal meat and poultry trade in the United Kingdom.
1996 In South Africa, SANHA was launched to develop and implement effective control and monitoring systems to ensure that products labelled as halal are truly halal compliant.
1997 The first internationally recognized definition of halal, from a market perspective, was prepared by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a body established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
1999 The World Halal Food Council/World Halal Council was established in Jakarta as an umbrella body for independent halal certification bodies around the world.
2001 The Central Islamic Committee of Thailand set up regulations for halal certification as a common standard for the whole country.
2002 The Malaysian government decided that all halal certification activities will be conducted by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia’s Food and Islamic Consumer Products Division.