1st International Food, Agriculture and Gastronomy Congress
Date: 15-19 February 2012
Venue: Antalya - Türkiye

The First International Food, Agriculture and Gastronomy Congress was held from 15 to 19 February 2012 in Antalya, Turkey. The Congress was organized jointly by Agricultural Federation of Turkey, Middle East Technical University and Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA). The Congress brought together an estimated 3000 people from around 65 countries. Participants of the event ranged from industry executives, decision-makers, government representatives, academics, retailers, operators of restaurants and hotel chains, consumer associations, and agricultural cooperatives. Mr. Nadi Serhan Aydin, Researcher, represented the SESRIC thereat.

The Congress marked an important occasion for the stakeholders of the agriculture and food industries in the participating countries to showcase its potential in the field and allowed them to explore the potential avenues for a better exchange of knowledge, technology, projects, services, and commodities among their respective countries. The Congress included symposiums, panel discussions, workshops, bilateral and multilateral meetings, exhibitions and an award ceremony. The event will be repeated biannually.

The Centre contributed to the First International Food, Agriculture and Gastronomy Congress by organizing and chairing a special session on halal food industry. The panel brought together halal food industry veterans, academics and representatives of standard-setting bodies under the theme “Halal Food Industry: Prospects and Challenges”. Acting as the Chairman of the Session, Mr. Nadi Serhan Aydin set the stage for discussions through a brief presentation on the contemporary developments in the Halal food industry. Mr. Aydin noted in his opening remarks that, with a basic consumer base of close to 2 billion, the market for Halal food products and services industry seemed to develop into one of the major economic drivers of the coming decade. “Although the demand for new and innovative products is huge, the industry is facing persisting challenges in certification, authentication and finance aspects” Mr. Aydin said. Speaking at the session, Mrs. Hajjah Jumaatun Azmi, Founding Director, International Halal Integrity (IHI) Alliance and World Halal Forum, dwelled on the fact that the concept of Halal had already gone beyond being a religious issue and further added that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy would simply not work anymore. In his presentation titled “Investment Potential in the Halal Food Sector”, Mr. Rafiuddin Shikoh, Founder and Managing Director, DinarStandard, highlighted that an approximate 90 per cent of the projected Halal market was not listed on public markets. According to him, OIC food industry constitutes only a small portion of the estimated annual US$640 billion global Halal food industry and therefore, in addition to retail investment opportunities available in capital markets, there are huge investment opportunities for SMEs in the Halal food market, particularly through mergers and acquisitions, corporate investments, as well as venture capital engagements.

The deliberations of the session continued with presentations by Prof. Fatih Yıldız, Congress President; Mr. Mehmet Cömert, Director of Product Supervision and Safety Division, Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Turkey; Mr. Çagrı Cankurtaran and Mr. Yasin Zülfükaroğlu, representing the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC); and Mr. Ömer Karakoç, Director of National Standards Preparation Groups, Turkish Standards Institution (TSE).

For more details please visit the Congress website: www.tarimvegidakongresi.org



  • "Halal Food Industry Prospects and Challenges", SESRIC (English)
  • "Challenges and Opportunities in the Halal Industry", International Halal Integrity (IHI) Alliance (English)
  • "Investment Potential in the Halal Food Sector", DinarStandard (English)
  • "Issues on Halal Food", Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC) (English)
  • "Halal Food Certification: Approaches at Conformity Assessment", Turkish Standards Institution (TSE) (English)