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SMF Engages in USDA Event on Halal Food Ecosystem and Global Islamic Economy

Washington, D.C. – The Shia Muslim Foundation (SMF) participated in a significant event at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which also marked the launch of the “State of the Global Islamic Economy Report” by DinarStandard. The event was a convergence of key players in the halal food industry and provided a platform for discussing the halal food ecosystem and its economic impact. The report is available for download here:

Dinar Standard Global Report 2023
Download PDF • 11.39MB

Insights and Highlights from the USDA meeting:

  • Tackling Food Insufficiency: The alarming issue of food insufficiency among American Muslims was addressed, with the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) distributing 800,000 meals annually to those in need across 40 states.

  • Prominent Industry Figures: The event was attended by influential figures in the halal industry, including the founder of and the President of Crescent Foods.

  • Advocacy for Halal on Campuses: The event highlighted initiatives to promote halal food options at 30 universities in the Northeastern US, emphasizing the importance of meeting diverse dietary needs in academic institutions.

  • Research Initiatives: Texas A&M University’s commitment to funding research related to halal food practices was showcased, with the support of various Muslim groups.

  • Amish Farms’ Role in Halal Meat Production: A surprising discovery was the substantial contribution of Amish farms to the US halal meat supply, aligning traditional farming values with halal principles.

Market Statistics:

  • The US halal market has reached impressive milestones with $60 billion in sales of halal food products and $20 billion in halal lifestyle spending in 2022.

  • On a global scale, the halal market is estimated at $2.3 trillion, with Muslim assets worldwide totaling $3.8 trillion.

The event at the USDA was a landmark occasion, bringing together an assembly of esteemed professionals:

At the helm of the USDA’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships stood Samantha Joseph, whose leadership and vision have been instrumental in fostering community engagement and environmental stewardship. Her welcoming remarks set the tone for a day of meaningful dialogue and collaboration.

The international trade landscape was represented by Aamer Uddin from the Department of Commerce. His expertise in global markets and digital diplomacy initiatives provided a valuable perspective on the economic intricacies of the halal industry.

From the corridors of the White House, Senior Policy Advisor Sameer Hossain brought a wealth of knowledge from the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. His contributions to the discussion underscored the importance of inclusive policies that resonate with diverse communities.

The core of the event was the unveiling of the “Global Islamic Economy 2023/2024 Report” by DinarStandard. CEO Rafi-uddin Shikoh, alongside Partner Reem El Shafaki, presented the key findings, offering a data-driven analysis of the Islamic economy’s trajectory. Their work at DinarStandard has been pivotal in providing actionable insights and fostering economic development within the Islamic markets.

Dr. Aamir Rehman, Senior Partner at DinarStandard, joined the panel discussion, bringing his academic prowess and strategic acumen to the forefront. His contributions to investment strategy and his role as a Senior Fellow at Columbia University have enriched the discourse on Islamic finance and its potential.

Elaine Trevino, the Associate Administrator of the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, shared her

experiences in addressing export-import challenges and her involvement in the White House Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force. Her expertise was invaluable in understanding the complexities of the global food supply chain.

Asma Ahad, the Director of Halal Market Development at IFANCA, provided insights into the certification processes and consumer needs within the halal market. Her dedication to servicing the halal consumer has been a driving force in the industry’s growth.

Shahed Amanullah, a Director at Frost Capital and Co-Founder of Zabihah, brought an entrepreneurial spirit to the event. His innovative approach to connecting consumers with halal options through Zabihah has been transformative for the industry.

Lastly, Ahmad Adam, President and CEO of Crescent Foods, shared his journey in establishing one of the largest providers of premium Halal poultry and meat in the United States. His vision and leadership have been central to meeting the growing demand for halal products.

Together, these speakers contributed to a rich tapestry of discussion, their collective wisdom paving the way for a more inclusive and prosperous halal market. The SMF, having been part of this gathering, looks forward to the continued growth and success of the global Islamic economy.

The SMF is honored to have been a part of this event and to contribute to the ongoing dialogue on halal food policy and practices. The Foundation remains dedicated to supporting the halal food ecosystem and the broader Islamic economy.


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