Savouring global success – the Halal way

Savouring global success – the Halal way

14th May, 2015

IT’S a challenging task to establish a global Halal market amid the onslaught of Western brands and companies need to compete fiercely, think big and innovatively to gain the opportunity to be successful in the global Halal food market.

This was the crux of the panel discussion on the topic ‘Global Halal Food Market’ held on the second day of the three-day International Food and Biotech Investment Conference at the Indera Samudra Hall of the Empire Hotel & Country Club, yesterday.

Dr Muhammad Munir Chaudry speaking during the panel discussion on the topic ‘Global Halal Food Market’.

Dr Muhammad Munir Chaudry speaking during the panel discussion on the topic ‘Global Halal Food Market’.

The speakers on the panel were Dr Muhammad Munir Chaudry, President of the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America; Adeel Khan, CEO of Saahtain Foods; Daisaku Misaka, President of Soy & World Inc; and Nurul Hidayah Abubakar, Regulatory Manager of the Hershey Company.

Opening the discussion, Dr Chaudry highlighted that the main drivers of growth in the global Halal food market are an increase in the Muslim population, shift in trends towards Halal-certified food, globalisation of food and opportunity costs, improvements in transport and logistics as well as rising incomes.

He also touched on the influential factors that enhance or hinder the global Halal food market such as the Halal standards and regulations, Halal certification, education and awareness, growing Muslim economies and population growth.

He emphasised on the different standard diet certificates on ingredients used in the foods, which vary in different countries, saying that the recognition of Halal Certified Body (HCB) has become an issue in the food industry – in terms of politics, personality conflicts, geographical barriers and inefficiencies of HCB.

Sharing his experiences in the global Halal food market, the second speaker, Adeel Khan, stressed on the need to grow organic global Halal brands.

“There are no global (Halal) brands as opposed to the established Western brands or the recently emerged Chinese brands that are now fast becoming global,” he said.

According to Khan, a company needs to compete fiercely and think big to gain the opportunity to enter the global Halal food market. “Our company is based in the United Kingdom, but we are thinking of coming to Brunei to set up a base. I believe as a Halal brand, we need to think globally and compete fiercely to be successful.”

He also highlighted the need to innovate quality where he sees the Brunei Halal as one of the initiatives towards this direction. One example he pointed out was development of products without using MSG (Monosodium glutamate, a flavour enhancer) because of its negative health impact. “This is innovation in quality based on research. Many food technologies can come together and push the barriers in quality, which will give opportunities for all of us.”

Daisaku Misaka, the third speaker, shared his perspective in becoming successful in the global Halal food market and talked about the joint venture of his company with the Brunei local firm, Al-Hana Enterprise. He said that they have managed to obtain the Brunei Halal certificates and that Malaysian and Indonesian companies have already expressed their interests in their products.

Nurul Hidayah, Regulatory Manager at the Hershey Company, talked about the industry perspective on Halal certification. Halal certification is required depending on the country they are exporting to. For example, if the country’s population is Muslim majority then there is a need for their products to be Halal-certified.

“In Brunei’s context, products which are needed to be certified as Halal would be carried out by the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB),” she said.

Source: Borneo Bulletin