About Food Labeling in Tunisia

By | 2017年12月6日

Ikram さんによる “チュニジアの食品表示に関するコラム” をお届けしますのでぜひご覧ください。

My name is Ikram RIAHI and I’m from Tunisia. I’m an engineer in applied sciences and technologies and specialized in food industry and Quality control QHSE. I am currently within my second year of my PhD in The National Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology along with the Center of biotechnology of Borj e Cedria within the field of bioengineering. The subject of my PhD research is “Valuation of the tannins of some natural bio resources in Tunisia in the field of bio industry” specifically in food industry.

Thanks to the International Youth leadership organization, AIESEC and through the global internship program, I got the chance to be interviewed by Mr. Kawai for a training position in his company ‘Label bank’. Stepping into Japan as a trainee was one of my biggest challenges, as it is one of the most advanced countries in the world in industrial production and technologies. But it went even further than my expectations with its mesmerizing beauty and refreshing climate. I was lucky enough to catch the autumn leaves falling everywhere leaving me astonished by the beauty of the scenes. The kindness of people also attracted my attention. Indeed I wasn’t surprised; it is pretty much expected from a noble nation that has proven its hospitality through history.

Starting my training at Label bank was like attending school daily; I didn’t stop learning about the food and health quality control system in Japan. Studying the country’s food industry regulations and everything related to the classification of the products and their labelling has been a concrete task for me. I’m also searching the differences between Japan and the rest of the world in this domain in order to dig deeper into the international export and import market and understand the marketing strategy tools for the different countries. I must tell that the difference between the Tunisian food labelling regulations and the Japanese ones is quite remarkable. For starters the difference in cultures, traditions and eating habits justifies the difference between the consumer’s claims in both countries. For example, as a Muslim country, in Tunisia Halal food is claimed as a necessity so it shouldn’t contain any ingredients derived from pork or non Halal meat or that contains alcohol. In the other hand, in Japan the Halal food production is very limited and very hard to find in the supermarkets or stores, even though this country attracts lots of Muslim foreigners.

Food Label certification is a recent practice in Tunisia. The National Institute of Standardization and Industrial Property (INNORPI) is the main and unique official organism of certification in Tunisia. The first food label certification began in 2009 with the ‘BIOCERT’ that is equivalent to ‘organic farming’ and means food produced in a farming system using natural manure and biological pest management. The ‘BIOCERT’ label is mainly based on European standards and is under the authority of the Ministry of Agriculture. The 2nd label is the ‘Food Quality Label’ that was instructed by the Ministry of the Industry in 2011 and the first certified product (2014) was the “Harissa” which is a hot paste of red pepper. The 3rd and the most recent food label is ‘Halal’ which began in 2013 and deal with several products like dates, spices, olive oil, pasta, canned tuna, and canned vegetables. By 2016, 16 companies were reported have been certified Halal for some of the above mentioned products. All food in Tunisia is Halal but the label Halal is mainly used for export to Europe and other countries.

According to the department of certification of the National institute for standardization and industrial property, these are some examples of Halal certified processed food in some companies in Tunisia until December 2015:

Halal certified Products Example of brands
Olive oil -Huilerie GARGOURI
Tunisian traditional pastries

-LAYLA company

Pasta -Pates WARDA
Couscous -MALLOULI company
Conventional soft wheat flour -MALLOULI company
Semolina -MALLOULI company
Canned tuna and sardine -MANAR THON Jerjisse
Canned food and semi-preserved fruits and vegetables: canned tomato, canned Harissa(concentrated red fresh hot pimentos, garlic and spices), grilled salad "Slata Mechouia", eggplant paste "Caponata", grilled artichokes, mixed cooked vegetables in sauce "Chakchouka", traditional harissa, garlic paste, olive paste, not to mention the usual range  including different types of table olives, capers and peppers -SICAM


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