Posted by Elisa Sacchi - 11 June, 2018
All Ucrete products from the plant located in Redditch, UK, achieved Halal certification. Ian Smith, Global Business Segment Manager Flooring, and Philip Ansell, European Marketing Manager Ucrete Industrial Flooring at Master Builders Solutions, explain what this certification implies and what the motivation was for pursuing it.
Why did you apply for Halal certification?
I.S. - The term Halal refers to things and activities that are ‘permitted’ within the context of Islamic regulations. Some twenty percent of the world’s population – about 1.6 billion people – are Muslims. For some time now, our customers operating in different segments from food & beverage to healthcare have been increasingly demanding for assurance that our Ucrete flooring will not compromise their conformance to Islamic regulations. This is where certification comes in, to make it clear which products are safe to use. By bringing our global Ucrete brand in line with these requirements, we are sending a clear signal of commitment to our customers.
How is Halal certification obtained? Who does one turn to?
P.A. - We addressed in first place Halal Certification Europe (HCE) based in the UK and discussed with them in general terms what Ucrete was, how it was made and what influence it might have on Halal manufacture. A procedure was agreed to evaluate every supplier to the Redditch site and a schedule of visits and inspections of our facility in Redditch were agreed. The whole process took nearly two years to complete.
How does the certification process work?
P.A. - The process started with a disclosure of every supplier to the Redditch site. Not just of raw materials but also including packaging and cleaning materials, everything that could possibly be a contaminant in the final product. While HCE assessed every one of our suppliers and raw materials for compliance, we made preparations to ensure all company procedures, facilities and equipment meet the worldwide Halal standard, making changes and adjustments where necessary.
At the time of the audit, it is crucial to have Halal-compliant production fully up and running for evaluation. Failure to do so would automatically result in a follow-up audit. After the audit, there is a meeting to discuss any changes that may be required. These must be implemented in a given timeframe, specified by the audit team. Further audits to verify implementation may be required. Following this, the certification body makes its decision, prepares an audit report, and – if the bid is successful – issues the certificate. Subsequently, there will be annual reviews to ensure everything is still in accordance with requirements.
How did this process look like in Redditch? What, specifically, where the auditors interested in?
P.A. - Prior to the audit HCE looked very closely at the Ucrete recipes and the production process. They required confirmation that neither raw materials nor packaging were in conflict with Halal requirements. During the audit, they were very interested in the process of manufacture itself. The auditors looked at the controls we do on incoming raw materials and the robustness of our procedures covering procurement, manufacture and quality control. We have had to modify our systems and procedures to ensure that we remain Halal compliant in future.
How will Ucrete benefit from Halal certification?
I.S. - We believe this is a strong statement of our commitment to our customers, particularly in the meat-processing industry where Halal compliance is increasingly becoming a subject of inquiry. The Halal certification provides consumers around the world with the assurance that Ucrete industrial flooring will not compromise their own compliance to Halal requirements according to Islamic regulations.
Fifty years ago, we invented Ucrete, the leading hygienic resin flooring solution for the food-and-beverage industry. Today, we again lead the industry as the first company to be fully audited and accredited with Halal certification.
To know more about all Ucrete flooring systems and their performances please visit our website www.ucrete.com