The paper aims to explore the development of the halal industry in Thailand. It endeavours to investigate the main factors behind the country’s success as one of the largest exporters of halal-certified foods and products in the Southeast Asian region, in spite of the fact that Thailand is a non-Muslim-majority country. Only 4.3 per cent of the 69-million population of Thailand is Muslims.
In articulating the issue objectively, qualitative research method was adopted. This paper used structured literature study by analysing various subjects of halal pertaining to Thailand’s halal sector. At the same time, several in-depth interviews with the corresponding halal authorities in Thailand, as well as site visits, were also conducted. We also undertook observations in several sites in Thailand to analyse the issue further.
Findings from the research show that the strong presence of Thailand in the global halal industry is because of its bustling tourism industry that helps to bolster the country’s halal branding, its uniformity of halal definition and standards and effective support to the local SMEs.
This research implies that the standardisation of halal in a country is imperative in the Muslim-majority or Muslim-minority countries. This study gives a benchmark for the non-Muslim-majority countries which endeavour to embark on the halal industry. Muslim-minority counties that envision to succeed in the global halal market could emulate Thailand’s approach in branding itself as a recognised non-Muslim-majority country in producing certified halal foods and products.
The paper provides guidelines and standards for Muslim-minority countries that envision success in the global halal market.
The authors would like to thank University of Malaya and the Ministry of Higher Education for research-grant approval and financial support. The research is received funds from the University of Malaya Research Grant (RP027A-15HNE) and FRGS-MOHE Grant (FRGS/1/2016/SS01/UTM/02/6).
Mohd Nawawi, M.S.A., Abu-Hussin, M.F., Faid, M.S., Pauzi, N., Man, S. and Mohd Sabri, N. (2020), "The emergence of halal food industry in non-Muslim countries: a case study of Thailand", Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 917-931. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIMA-05-2018-0082
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