The Food Auditing and Certification Research Association (GIMDES) is to begin issuing halal food certificates for the first time in Turkey, according to reports.

Speaking at the Second International Halal Food Conference in Istanbul at the weekend, GIMDES chairman Hüseyin Büyüközer said they had been working to introduce halal food certification in Turkey for the past 25 years and are now glad to have made such progress.

The move will bring the country one step closer to winning a share of the giant global market for halal food – food prepared in accordance with Islamic law, which has reached US$2tn in size, Today’s Zaman reported.

Büyüközer said four Turkish firms have already applied to receive certificates and that they expect to issue these certificates “as soon as possible”, underlining that Turkish consumers have “long been looking forward” to such a development.

He said the entire production process of a food item “from farm to kitchen” will be compatible with halal food requirements.

Around 24 speakers from the US, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Kyrgyzstan, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of South Africa gave speeches at the Istanbul meeting, which ended on Sunday.