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PP 13884/10/2007 MICA (P) 143/02/2007


the Five markets of halal




SPECIAL INSIDE: PALM OIL SUPPLEMENT Food Security for the Muslim World



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World Halal Forum 2007




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Supported By | ISSN 1823-1411 PP 13884/10/2007 MICA (P) 143/02/2007

M A R + A P R 20 0 7




What It Means to Your Business

Three Very Solid Reasons Why You Should Be in Malaysia in May


Read why Malaysia’s Halal food sector is becoming the new economic force


Malaysian palm oil stalwart urges Muslims to look to other Muslims for food


An in-depth look at the changing face of logistics and how Halal can benefit


Food security concern getting global attention Promoting Global Cooperation the WHF way


Halal foie gras anyone?


Danes looking to mend ties post 2006 consumer boycott


A Halal fast food war is brewing in America


Full Speed Ahead for South East Asian Tigers

©2006 KasehDia Sdn. Bhd. All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER : While all care is taken, the publisher accepts no responsibility for the information contained herein which is believed to be reliable. The publisher/editor takes no responsibility for opinions expressed or implied as they are the writers’ own and do not necessarily reflect that of the publisher or editor who make no warranties governing material, including advertising or features contained within this publication. This publication may not in whole or part, be copied, reproduced or translated without prior written permission of the publisher.

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3/12/07 9:05:40 PM

Ed’s Note Of Build Up Anticipation and Doing Our Bit To Make Halal Mainstream

Why not look at Malaysia and Indonesia as Muslim brother countries for the supply of safe and Halal raw material for their foods?

Regulars 08} QUIETLY SPOKEN Expectation & Acceptable 08} GLOBAL NEWS Your quick reference of Halal development around the globe, updated Calendar of Events + reader’s poll 14} BETWEEN THE LINES See how far the Halal industry developed by Joining the Dots 42} COUNTRY IN FOCUS China: It maybe small there, but its huge for anywhere else!

Living 64} BROWSING We discovered the only Muslimowned Subway in Bangsar, listened to desert music Tinariwen while digesting an international bestseller 66} ON DISPLAY Halal and good stuff currently on the shelf 68} PARTING WORDS Malaysian port giant takes a closer look at the global Halal industry

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As you read this, the second World Halal Forum (WHF 2007) is less than two months away and everybody at the office is feeling the increased anticipation and intensity. More delegates are confirming their places, more media are enquiring to become partners, not to mention a few corporations still wanted to join in as event sponsors. It’s hectic, but no one’s complaining! If you are reading this, you are either already a Halal industry player, or would want to become one. There is therefore no reason why you should give this market-moving forum a miss. In case you needed a reason to attend anyway, we present on page 15 onwards, three good reasons why you should be in Kuala Lumpur this May, and WHF is just one of them. Making it a complete Halal industry package are the world’s biggest Halal trade fair, the Malaysian International Halal Showcase, or MIHAS 2007, and the International Halal Restaurant Awards Night, a dinner celebrating the diversity of Halal food, which will also be held within that same week. Aside from the 7-page spread on the three key reasons, we also continue to give you, our loyal readers, market-moving insights within the Halal industry. As a Halal manufacturer, you would want to read the excellent cover story by our resident agri-economist on the five different global Halal markets and how your business can capitalise from each of them. The impact of Malaysian Halal food to the global industry is also emphasised in an article on page 24, as well as an excellent interview with a Malaysian palm oil stalwart who puts forward the idea for Muslims to actually source its Halal raw ingredients from other Muslim countries. Our resident logistic expert also continued to feed the industry with fresh logistical approaches the Halal market may consider adopting, to keep the industry as relevant and as mainstream within global trade. Speaking of which, this issue also put forward ideas on how to market Halal products and services in the 21st century. Many Halal producers may find that the ideas are actually worth exploring. As the feverish excitement builds up within the next few weeks for us to give the best to our local and foreign delegates, we sincerely hope that the industry reciprocates and sign up for the fast disappearing seats of WHF 2007 this May 7 - 8. Let us all pool our resources and contribute in making the global Halal industry a truly strong and robust mainstream industry that it so deserves to become. Hope to be able to see each and everyone of you in May, right here in Kuala Lumpur.

the Halal Journal team

:: T H E H E A R T O F TH E H A L A L J O U R N A L :: Halal refers to that which the Creator has made lawful. Its opposite, Haram, refers to what is forbidden. These parameters has been designed for health, safety and benefit of all mankind regardless of age, faith or culture. The realm of the Halal extends beyond the obvious references to food and touches all matters that relate to human life. In the commercial arena, all goods and services, markets, transactions, currencies and other activities come under the judgments of Halal and Haram. These parameters include protecting the environment, humane treatment for animals, ethical investment, the intrinsic value of currencies and fairness in all commercial transactions. We believe that the emerging global Halal market will be one of the great market forces in the coming decades.

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EDITOR Jumaatun Azmi DEPUTY EDITOR Kamarul Aznam Kamaruzaman CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Amanda Suriya Ariffin Irfan Sungkar Tong Yee Siong Marco Tieman Dina Zaman Hariz Kamal Lilyana Aziz DIRECTOR, RESEARCH & INTELLIGENCE Abdalhamid Evans PROJECT MANAGER Salama Evans GRAPHIC & DESIGN M. Zailan PHOTOGRAPHY Dennis Martens, Netherlands Julia Freeman-Woolpert DIRECTOR, SALES & DISTRIBUTION Nordin Abdullah

CORPORATE MANAGING DIRECTOR Jumaatun Azmi EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Nordin Abdullah DIRECTORS Abdalhamid Evans Fareen Shazli Ali



31-2 Plaza Crystalville Jalan 22A/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia tel: +6 03 6203 1025 fax: +6 03 6203 4072 email:


Top 3 ‘Best Guide in the World’ for 2004 Gourmand Awards “The world’s first series of Halal food restaurant guides.” -Asian Wall Street Journal


Get your copy today! Over 100 reviews of restaurants, cafes, food courts, bakeries and confectioners Descriptive photographs Index and icons to find the exact place you want Maps for reference


PERMISSION & REPRINTS The Halal Journal is written and edited for a worldwide audience and is published bimonthly, except for special issues. Materials in The Halal Journal may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. SUBSCRIPTION INFO For subscription and circulation enquiries, address changes and request for copies, please call +6 03 6203 1025 or fax +6 03 6203 4072. To order back issues, please email us at or log on to The Halal Journal, the name and the logo, are trademark ™ and copyright © 2006 by KasehDia Sdn Bhd. All Rights Reserved. Printed in Malaysia by Art Printing Works Sdn. Bhd.

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Life in the fast lane Is the fact that someone buys battered chicken and chips from a fast food restaurant any different than if they buy it from the freezer of a supermarket and fry it up at home? Jamie Oliver who we all love watching cook on the TV tried to convert the English school children to a healthy diet by replacing all the fast food favourites served in schools. Did it work? No, not even he could give an alternative to their basic love of chips and chicken nuggets, with parents smuggling them in for their children to eat. So how is a ban suggested by Malaysia on advertising these outlets going to stop people eating the stuff? We here do not believe that these fast food outlets are going to lose out drastically if we are not subliminally seduced through advertising to eat their products, but the media certainly is! We all know where to find them when we want them, and in this time where everyone has to go out to work, fast meals are essential. What must to be monitored are the ingredients used, cutting down salt, sugar and no trans fats. Slowly wean the regulars onto to a more healthy taste in food. This is what some food manufacturing giants are doing and we applaud them. hj


‘There needs to be a greater understanding of the various aspects of halal accreditation, of such products and service, as well as ensuring that there can be uniformity and homogeneity in the application of halal standards, globally,’ Rafidah Aziz, Malaysian Trade Minister

Mark Piet

Quietly Spoken




Muslim nations should create a global standard for the Halal food industry because its potential is being held back by conflicting religious rulings on what Muslims can eat, a Malaysian industry leader said. Islam bans some foods such as pork and requires others to be prepared in certain ways to be deemed Halal, or permitted. But there are many contentious issues in the Halal food industry, currently estimated by Malaysia to be worth $547 billion. “There should be industry-driven global Halal standards as opposed to some cleric sitting somewhere and completely out of touch with private sector and the food industry, deciding on what is Halal and what isn’t,” Khairy Jamaludin said at the launch of an upcoming global forum to discuss the Halal industry. Even food containing emulsifiers, gelatine and enzymes are subject to debates between the food industry and clerics because the origins of these ingredients are not always known. “A lot of science and research needs to go into this,” said Khairy, adding that clerics need to fully examine the origins of additives and food processing methods before issuing religious edicts on the Halal status of different foods. The Halal forum will gather experts, industry and government officials from more than 30 countries and will discuss the possibility of a certified global standard for Halal food. In calling for clerics not to stand in the way of such a standard, Khairy underlined the relatively pragmatic approach taken by Muslims in Southeast Asia compared with the Middle East. Even where Halal rulings are consistent, they can conflict with other industry standards, such as in slaughtering cattle. “There needs to be a greater understanding of the various aspects of Halal accreditation, of such products and service, as well as ensuring that there can be uniformity and homogeneity in the application of Halal standards, globally,” Malaysian Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz said in a speech recently. |SOURCE: REUTERS, 24/1/2007 MIDDLE EAST


Targeting the growing halal food trade, Ras Al Khaimah announced yesterday it will support the establishment of a halal virtual market and offer suppliers storage and logistic facilities to develop the business in the region. Kombiz Eghdami, Chairman of vLinx, announced the establishment of vLinx Halal that will deal exclusively with food products that adhere to Sharia principles. vLinx, claimed to be the largest virtual food marketplace on the net that deals with foodstuffs, has designated the new link as an exclusive business to business (B2B) window for halal food. Muslims, according to WTO statistics, consume food worth $580 billion a year, and this is expected to rise to $2 trillion by 2015.Shaikh Saud said the project aimed at establishing direct trade links between producers and importers of halal products around the world and offer secure links to conduct their businesses. He said the new link will help to cut costs by at least 10 to 15 per cent. |SOURCE: GULFNEWS, 19/2/2007


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Halal is clear and Haram is clear; in between these two are certain things that are suspected or ‘Mushbooh’ . Mushbooh item could come from a Haram source, which must be avoided by Muslims.


Halal provision in universities has grown exponentially. This week, chefs at Manchester University have been learning how to cook, serve and handle halal meat. The university’s main campus canteen nearly always serves a halal meat option, chosen by around 400 of the 2,500 daily diners. But catering manager Alison Aucott wanted more of her staff to know about the dietary needs of Manchester’s Muslim students, so she invited Middlesex-based halal caterers Cater Direct to visit. “Students often ask us how the halal meat has been cooked and handled,” she says. “I wanted to make sure my staff were fully informed. This will be our second training course. It has been extremely useful and has widened our understanding of halal.” Manchester is the ninth UK university Cater Direct has visited to discuss Islamic dietary laws in the past two years. Meanwhile, at Sheffield University, the first halal food outlet, the Shere Khan restaurant, will open next week. An influx of Muslim students is changing university diets across the UK. The Federation of Student Islamic Societies says there are now about 90,000 Muslim students at university in the UK - almost double the number five years ago. It estimates that at least half of all universities now provide halal meat options in their canteens, as opposed to simply a vegetarian alternative. Mohammad Ali Sheikh, director of Cater Direct, says, “We believe that two years ago, it was common for students to travel three miles to get halal food. Whenever there was a halal option, it was a curry or ethnic dish. All that is changing. Halal provision in universities has grown exponentially. Our halal mince is used in lasagne, on pizza toppings and in jacket potatoes now.” |SOURCE: EDUCATIONGUARDIAN.CO.UK, 30/1/2007

“An influx of Muslim students is changing university diets across the UK. There are now about 90,000 Muslim students at university in the UK - almost double the number five years ago. In November 2005, students at Leicester University persuaded their union canteen to go exclusively Halal and pork-free.”

The Halal Journal InfoEdu

Halal is a general term used by Muslims to describe anything that is permissible under Islamic scriptures. In terms of food, halal pertains to foods that follow Islamic dietary laws. Meats must be slaughtered by a Muslim following a particular set of rules (sharia) that minimizes suffering and ensures cleanliness. These meats are considered zabiha. Halal foods must not contain anything that is haram, or forbidden, such as pork, blood, alcohol and anything derived from humans. In today’s industrialized food world, that can be trickier than you think. Enzymes and rennet used in cheeses and yogurts may be derived from pork. L-cysteine, a dough conditioner and flavoring aid, can be derived from human hair or pig bristles. Because the derivation of some additives are not required on nutrition labeling, Muslims end up putting these foods in a category called mushbooh, or unknown and to be avoided.


To address these concerns, third-party halal certifying agencies have evolved to ensure foods meet halal standards. Halal certification has a much shorter history in the United States than its kosher counterpart, which goes back nearly 80 years, says Muhammad Munir Chaudry, president of the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of North America in Chicago, a leading halal certifying agency. When halal certification started here about 20 years ago, it was mainly for the benefit of the export market. With 8 million Muslim consumers now living in the United States, that is starting to change, says Chaudry. While mainstream supermarkets are slow to warm up to halal certification and labeling, halal symbols such as the IFANCA’s crescent M are frequently showing up in ethnic markets, notes Chaudry. Since the late 1990s, a handful of states, including New York, has passed halal regulations. New York’s Halal Food Protection Act of 2005 requires manufacturers, producers and sellers of halal-certified foods to register with the state Department of Agriculture & Markets. |SOURCE: ROCHESTER

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies UK


Europe’s leading Halal brand Tahira Foods have launched its Halal poultry and lamb range into Sainsbury’s stores beginning last 14 February 2007. This is seen as a major step within the UK Halal industry where sales of Halal-certified products are continuing to grow at unprecedented levels and Sainsbury’s have come up trumps with the introduction of such a range. “Within a week of our launch, sales in Sainsbury’s for Halal meat and poultry have grown to 40% and are continuing to grow,” remarked a company representative. Working closely with the consumer and Tahira, Martin Edwards, Sainsbury’s Halal poultry and lamb buyer felt that the needs of the Muslim consumer have long been ignored and the time for such a launch could not come at a healthier instance. “I believe that the range coming soon, known for its quality and Halal authenticity and with the price attached will be a huge success,” said Edwards. Sainsbury’s is the first leading supermarket chain in the UK to move from a secondary brand to a brand leader in the market and has the British Farm Foods accreditation. | SOURCE: PRESS RELEASE, 15/2/2007

Correction on Picture Positioning We apologise for the inappropriate positioning of placing Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s photo in the Jan/Feb 07 issue of The Halal Journal on page 20, which should be at the upper most part of the page. We assure that the mistake was purely unintentional.



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GlobalNEWS “Our school’s governing body made the decision to introduce a Halal option for the whole school after a consultation showed this is what most parents wanted.”



MORE informative halal messages should be included in the packaging and branding of halal products to raise awareness and knowledge about such goods, says a media executive. KasehDia Sdn Bhd executive director Nordin Abdullah said the halal messages need not just be about placing a halal logo on the packaging.It could also be expanded to include a definition of the term halal and a list of ingredients that consumers could relate to. “It could be something like a cereal box which has a lot of information, including a definition of halal, history, the rationale, a story that could appeal to a person emotions and create better understanding of the product and about the halal concept,” he told Business Times. “If halal producers want to target the global Muslim market, they must sell a product that is appealing to them or something that they can relate to.” The global halal market is a growing market that is worth over RM9 trillion per year. The kosher industry in the US is valued at US$100 billion (RM349 billion) per year, of which Muslim consumers comprise 16 per cent. “That makes up about US$16 billion (RM55.84 billion) to replace kosher for halal product and mind you, the world Muslim population is growing and so is food consumption,” Nordin said. |SOURCE: BUSINESS TIMES, 10/2/2007


The recent announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that meat and dairy products from cloned animals are safe to eat has sparked intense concern among religious communities with strict dietary codes. Muslims, who accounts for 1.79 billion worldwide and over 10 million in North America, have expressed genuine concern over the implications of FDA’s recent ruling which means that cloned food might be available in the market as soon as next year. The influential Darul Uloom Deoband seminary in India has declared that the consumption of meat and milk from cloned animals is permissible as per the dictates of Islamic law. The edict issued by Mufti Habibur Rahman and certified by Mufti Muhammad Zafeeruddin and Mufti Mehmood Hasan says that the lineage of animals is determined through their mother. “If a calf is born from a cow and looks, eats, and makes sounds like a cow then the ruling regarding




Ms Hayward, West Hampstead primary school UK


Battle lines have been drawn at a West Hampstead primary school over the serving of halal-only meat. Angry non-Muslim parents of children at Kingsgate School have been staging a week-long protest outside the gates, demanding that there should be a nonhalal meat option. For halal meat, an animal’s throat is slit and the blood allowed to drain from the neck. Jacqueline Gomm, who has two children at the school in Kingsgate Road, has been at its gates all week collecting signatures. Muslim Betissam Eljanfali, who has a child at the school, believed a compromise should be found. She asked: “Why can’t they cater for both?” Ms Eljanfali said the debate was really about technicalities rather than a culture clash. She added: “The meat’s just slaughtered differently. It’s electrocution or slitting the throat.” Parent Saido Aden agreed with the switch to halal-only meat. She said: “Muslims are only allowed halal. English people are allowed everything.” Ms Hayward said in a statement this week: “Our school’s governing body made the decision to introduce a halal option for the whole school after a consultation showed this is what most parents wanted.” Ninety-one per cent of those who responded to the questionnaire said they wanted halal meat or did not object to the switch, she added. The press official said: “There will also be a vegetarian choice and a jacket potato with toppings of cheese, beans or fish, so there is always a hot, healthy option available for all children.” |SOURCE: CAMDEN NEW JOURNAL, 9/2/2007

cows will be applied to it. Drinking its milk and eating its meat is correct (permissible), according to Shari’ah,” says the Fatwa. An animal clone is an exact genetic copy of a donor animal. The cloning form used most frequently is somatic cell nuclear transfer, or SCNT, in which the genes of the donor animal are inserted into an egg cell that has had its nucleus removed. After a few steps in the lab, the egg cell is implanted in a surrogate, where it usually develops just like any other embryo. Plants have been cloned for decades, in a process known as vegetative propagation. It takes about 30 years to breed a banana from seed, so to speed time to market, most commercial bananas are clones, as are potatoes, apples, grapes, pears and peaches. Shaykh Jaffar Al Quaderi, a religious advisor of the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America or IFANCA, also agreed with the opinion that the meat and milk from cloned animals is Halal. This fatwa is in line with the decision reached by a majority of the 125 scholars at the 1997 meeting of the Islamic Fiqh Academy of Saudi Arabia held in Makkah. While arguing against human cloning, they had declared that cloning is permissible in the case of plants as well as animals. The 1997 meeting had also concluded that cloning does not question Islamic beliefs in any way. They had declared that cloning is similar to sowing a seed in the ground. Just as the person sowing the seed is not the creator of the resulting plant, so the cloning technician is not the creator of the resulting animal. Allah s.w.t alone is the Creator and all creation takes place solely through His will. The Islamic Fiqh Academy of India had also concluded that, “cloning in the realm of flora and fauna, which is beneficial for humans and are in no way, detrimental and pernicious to the human beings in terms of morality, religion and physique, are permissible.” Shaykh Yusuf Al Qaradawi, in a 2002 fatwa, ruled that animal cloning is permissible if the following conditions are met: a. It must bring about real benefits to all people, b. It must not result in harm which is greater than the benefit it has produced, and

c. It must not bear any kind of harm to the animal used in the process; as causing harm or torture to an animal is forbidden in Islam. In 2002, the highest Muslim authority in the Palestinian territories, the Fatwa Council has ruled that, “The cloning of animals or plants could be accepted, but limited to the benefits it represents for humanity.” A meeting of the European Council for Fatwa Research also issued a statement saying, “It is legally permissible to use the technologies of cloning and genetic engineering in the field of microbiology, micro-organism, plants and animals within the legal controlling criteria of Shari’ah and in a way that brings about benefits and prevents evil and mischief.” It further elaborated on criteria for animal cloning: a. There should be an interest and a benefit that is significant in the light of Shari’ah, b. The interest should not clash with a mischief greater than it, and c. The process should not lead to tormenting or causing distress to the animal or changing its creation and essence. When asked about animal cloning, prominent Iraqi Shia cleric Ayatollah Al Sistani opined, “There is no problem in it.” Additionally, the FDA had analysed hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies on the health and food composition of clones and their offspring. According to press reports, its conclusions underwent an exhaustive review process by a group of independent scientific experts and agreed with those of a 2002 report by the National Academies of Science. Ruminant nutritionist Barb Glen told the Contra Costa Times that the FDA review was one of the most extensive reviews he has seen. “There’s never 100 percent in science,” said Glenn, a managing director at the Biotechnology Industry Organization, a Washington, D.C., trade group that represents companies hoping to commercialise cloning technology. “But I think we’re definitely approaching scientific consensus that food from clones is safe.” From Mohammed Ayub Khan via email


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Rate the importance of dedicated Halal Officers to ensure Halal integrity and quality for manufacturing of Halal goods. 80% ��������������

In your opinion should Genetically Modified Foods (GMO) be considered Halal?

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Brunei Darussalam has expressed interest in working together with Australia in the area of halal food. Brunei through the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources initiated the programme ��������� ��������� to develop the Brunei Premium Halal Brand. As part of the programme, Brunei Darussalam is to offer Halal certification to quality and safe food products from other countries. This combined effort would bring the products to a premium level in which they would get the recognition of being certified by an authority known to be stringent in its Halal certification whilst also setting the standard of quality food products. On February 15, the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources jointly organised a food tasting reception with Australian companies at The Empire Hotel and Country Club. ���hosted by Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Hamid bin Hj Mohd Jaafar, Permanent The reception was �� Primary Resources, who in his welcoming speech said Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and that the visit of the high-level delegation from Australia indicated their high interest in the Brunei Premium Halal project. “Brunei Premium Halal project offers wonderful opportunities for food manufacturers in international markets, and it will also encourage food companies to invest in production ��������� facilities in Brunei Darussalam, ” said John Erwin, one of the visiting delegates from Australia.

Should Halal products be covered in Free Trade Agreements (FTA’s) between Muslim and Non-Muslim Nations?

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A universally accepted standard should be adopted to clear misconceptions about Halal food, experts stressed during the Halal Food Conference held in Dubai yesterday. They said there are several companies who sell Halal food even though their products do not meet global standards. “The Halal market is growing rapidly. After South-East Asia, people in the US and Europe too have started asking for Halal food. But then people are mostly getting the wrong products. So we are striving for one universally agreed certified standard. The conditions would improve only then. Muslims in the US are spending $16 billion a year on normal products as Halal food is not available,” said Hajj Abdalhamid Evans, Director of the International Halal Industry Alliance. “People have a lot of misconceptions about Halal food and these need to be cleared. There are several people who are fooling consumers by selling food which they claim to be Halal. It is high time that the world adopts a universal global standard when it comes to Halal food. All other standards should be kept aside. We want the UAE as well as other countries to have a better knowledge of Halal,” he added. Saleh Lootah, CEO of Al Islami Foods, dealing in high quality Halal food products in the UAE, said, “People need to know that Halal food is more nutritious than the other types. And we are ready to cooperate with Malaysia in providing expertise to the country.”

Commercially, the Islamic consumer market is the fastest-growing in the world. Europe’s Muslim population has grown by more than 140% over the past decade to reach 25 million, while Australia has grown by a significant 250% in the same period. Once Asia’s Muslim population of over one billion - including the world’s fastgrowing populations of India, China and Pakistan - is factored in, the full potential of the Halal food market becomes apparent. “The Halal marketplace is emerging as one of the most lucrative and influential arenas in the world today, particularly as Muslim nations reach the stage of development required to shape global markets, both as producers and consumers,’” said Salama Evans, organiser of the Halal Industry Dialogue. Opportunities abound within and beyond traditional Muslim countries - the UK Halal market alone is currently a USD 4 billion market, with strong demand for specialised and healthy Halal food. These factors are driving an increasing diversity of companies and countries to incorporate Islamic food standards, endorsed by a Halal authority, into the manufacture and preparation of food products. Major food producing nations like Malaysia, Brazil and Turkey are striving to ensure that Halal standards are introduced into every link of the food chain. In addition, the majority of the world’s meat producing countries - including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, New Zealand, UK and USA - are incorporating Halal slaughter techniques across their operations.







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GlobalNEWS “I believe that we are going to see Halal emerging as one of the most powerful market forces in the food industry in the coming decade. Halal is not a niche market; Halal is for everyone; and I believe that we will see the reality of this reflected in economic terms in years to come,” Datuk Jamil Bidin, HDC Chief Executive Officer



As Mindanao’s premier city, Halal consciousness should be higher in Davao amid increasing trade and tourism ties with South East Asia’s Muslim dominated countries, an official of a new Halal board said. Aleem Abdulwahid Inju, head of the Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification Board, said Davao’s strategic location in the BIMP (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines) East Asia Growth Area, required it should be a step ahead. The new halal board made initial visits to companies in the city for orientation on Halal accreditation. Inju said cultural sensitivity and healthy living were two of the fruits of Halal accreditation, which he said was easy to do in Davao. He said the local government’s track record of cultural sensitivity here made it also easier. Joseph Palanca, regional development program officer of the Local Governance Support Program in the Autonomous Region, said Davao City was “expected to be a step forward in Halal-consciousness “. “Unfortunately, Halal awareness and understanding is not yet so deep,” he said. He said though, that they visited seven firms in the city, including Marco Polo Hotel and added that these already made remarkable steps in Halal-consciousness. He said Marco Polo Hotel uses a separate kitchen in preparing Halal food, as well as also alloting a prayer room each for Muslim men and women. He said the hotel, the only one in the country with such amenity, also put copies of the Holy Qur’an in deluxe rooms and byrequest in the rest of the rooms. Jocelyn Lucas, the hotel’s purchasing manager, said they have expressed appreciation of the Halal process. Palanca admitted that going through the process involves incurring additional cost “but above all it demands raising the consciousness not only of top-level management but the whole personnel”. He said other establishments should already start looking at Halal-consciousness. Other key cities in Mindanao, he said should also follow suit, with the prospects of better links in the BIMP- EAGA sub-region. |SOURCE: MINDANAO NEWS, 29/1/2007



THE Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (MCCM) expects to export some US$10 billion (RM35 billion) worth of local halal products within the next five years with the setting up of its marketing centre in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. To be known as “Malaysia Mart”, the centre will serve as a retail and wholesale outlet for halal product producers, namely the Malay small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to showcase their goods to potential customers in Dubai. He said by creating a presence in Dubai, local players can also look forward to easier entrance to other Muslim markets across the globe. “Around US$150 billion (RM525 billion) worth of halal products are being distributed via Dubai each year. The global trade value for halal product is currently at US$200 billion (RM700 billion) per year. From this figure, you can see the importance of Dubai in the distribution of halal products globally. That is why it is important for the Malay SMEs to create some form of presence in Dubai in order to go global,” he told a news conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. For starters, the centre will concentrate on retail and wholesale activities for halal canned and processed food and beverages, health supplements and herbal products. It will eventually expand its product range to include frozen food, fresh fruits as well as cosmetics. |SOURCE: BUSINESS TIMES, 26/1/2007

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Rapid expansion of the halal market has led to many countries recognizing that a Halalcertified product has immediate added value in the global market, Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) Chief Executive Officer Datuk Jamil Bidin said Wednesday. A Halal-certified product is now becoming a pre-requisite to market access in many countries, he said at the “World Halal Forum (WHF) Dialogue: Dubai” held in conjunction with the Gulfood 2007 Exhibition here. Jamil said that the tremendous growth of the halal industry was not in the Muslim countries. Jamil also added that Eastern and Western Europe, where Muslims numbered over 50 million, is a also emerging as a significant market apart from the US where the nine million Muslims accounted for 16 percent of US$100 billion kosher market, mainly due to the lack of available halal products. “I believe that we are going to see halal emerging as one of the most powerful market forces in the food industry in the coming decade. Halal is not a niche market; Halal is for everyone; and I believe that we will see the reality of this reflected in economic terms in years to come,” he said. Touching on HDC, Jamil said that it was formed to develop the halal sector for both the local and international markets and it has identified three significant areas of focus that will need to be developed in order for the sector to realise its full potential. These are protecting and developing the parameters of halal, ensuring that the Syariah definitions keep pace with the rapid development in industry and science and lastly ensuring that halal compliance can be verified all the way from the farm to the fork, Jamil said. Meanwhile, Saleh Abdullah Lootah, Chief Executive Officer of Al Islami Foods, which is hosting the dialogue, noted that scientifically proven health benefits of halal food have attracted an unprecedented demand for these products across the world from both Muslim and non-Muslim consumers. A latest study conducted by HighBeam Research showed that the international halal food industry was estimated at a value of US$150 billion and had the potential to rise to US$500 billion by 2010. |SOURCE: BERNAMA, 24/2/2007


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Calendar of events



The Brazilian Beef Industry and Exporters Association (Abiec) is going to participate in a food sector fair in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for the first time, and is also going to promote a workshop for clients and potential buyers at a hotel in the city. “Dubai was chosen as most of our associates felt that the emirate presented good structure and strategic operating conditions,” stated the executive director at the organization, Antonio Jorge Camardelli. According to Camardelli, apart from local consumers, Brazilian companies are eyeing the potential represented by tourists who visit the country and by neighbouring nations, as Dubai may be used as a distribution centre to other destinations in the region. “We are foreseeing a more dynamic market, which may in future be a distribution centre to other countries, including Iraq,” said Camardelli. The efficiency of the barbecues has already been proven in six similar events, among them two in Egypt, one in Algeria and two in Bulgaria. Egypt and Algeria are now among the 10 main buyers of Brazilian cattle beef. To evaluate the decision of investing in Dubai, the Abiec has prepared a study to show that sales to the Emirates have been growing significantly from year to year, both in terms of volume, and in terms of revenues. Last year, shipments of Brazilian cattle beef to the Arab country generated US$ 35.5 million, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, against US$ 20.4 million in 2005, US$ 16 million in 2004, US$ 11.2 million in 2003, US$ 5.8 million in 2002 and US$ 4 million in 2001. According to the Abiec, in 2005, Brazil had 66% participation in imports of cattle beef by the Emirates, in terms of volume, and 42% in terms of revenues, being that in 2001, this participation was just 7% both in terms of quantity and in terms of revenues. The main Brazilian competitors are Australia, New Zealand, the United States, China and South Africa. Brazil is, however, the biggest world producers and exporter of cattle beef. Showing figures compiled by the World Bank, the Abiec report recalls that the population of the Emirates rose from 3.2 million people in 2000 to 4.5 million in 2005, an increase that was followed by a strong growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and of per capita income. |SOURCE: ANBA, 30/1/2007

“They can tap on the strength of Malaysia as a well-respected Muslim country and use it as a stepping stone to establish trade links with Organisation of Islamic Conference countries and other minority Muslim population worldwide who are searching for quality and trusted Halal products,” Mohd Shukri Abdullah, Mihas chief executive officer MALAYSIA


Besides the lucrative global halal market worth US$2.1 trillion (US$1=RM3.47) last year, the logistics to trade in halal products provide another untapped market, said World Halal Forum director Nordin Abdullah. He said as logistics usually cost between five and 10 percent, the sector provided a new business venture as there were more calls for dedicated logistics for halal products. “This is like the Jewish kosher food which uses separate transportation service. Now there are few companies in the world using separate containers and trucks for halal products. MISC has launched halal express using containers for halal products,” he said. He said the logistics for halal trade would be among the topics to be discussed at the forum, along with issues like ingredients and manufacturing, development in halal science, animal welfare and halal slaughter, syariah and standard/auditing. Mihas chief executive officer, Mohd Shukri Abdullah, said the world’s largest halal product exhibition provided immense opportunities for Thai manufacturers to tap the halal product market. “They can tap on the strength of Malaysia as a well-respected Muslim country and use it as a stepping stone to establish trade links with Organisation of Islamic Conference countries and other minority Muslim population worldwide who are searching for quality and trusted halal products,” he added. According to estimates, there are 1.8 billion Muslims globally and the total size of global halal food and non-food such as financial services pharmaceuticals and cosmetics industries were valued at almost RM8 trillion. |SOURCE: BERNAMA, 26/1/2007

18-21 March 2007 IFE 2007 Int’l Food and Drink Event ExCel London Tel: +44 (0)20 7886 3064 Fax: +44 (0)20 7886 3091 3-6 APRIL 2007 GREEN IRAQ EXPO Iraq’s Agricultural & Animal Resources Amman Int’l Motor Show Amman, Jordan Tel: +9626 562 5220 Fax: +9626 562 5421 Email: 7-8 MAY 2007 WORLD HALAL FORUM Premier Halal Industry Event Going Global with Halal Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia KasehDia Sdn Bhd Tel: +603 6203 1025 Fax +603 6203 4072 Email: OFFICIAL MEDIA 9-12 MAY 2007 MALAYSIAN INTERNATIONAL HALAL SHOWCASE Expanding the Halal Frontiers Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Indah Profiles Tel: +603 2161 0001 Fax: +603 2162 0002 Email: 9-12 MAY 2007 FOODTECH 2007 Food, Equipment and Technology Karachi Exhibition Centre Karachi, Pakistan Pegasus Consultancy (Pvt) Ltd Tel: +9221 111 734 266 Fax: +9221 241 0723 Email: 15-16 MAY 2007 INT’L CONFERENCE ON MANAGEMENT FROM ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVES Paradigms, Issues and Challenges Hilton Hotel Kuala Lumpur IIUM Tel: +603 6196 4758 Fax: +603 6196 4850 Email: 23-27 MAY 2007 THAIFEX World of Food Asia Impact Exhibition Centre Bangkok, Thailand Koelnmesse Pte Ltd Tel: +65 6396 7180 Fax: +65 6296 2771 Email: 12-14 JULY 2007 MIFB Malaysian Int’l Food & Beverage Trade Fair Malaysian Exhibition & Convention Centre Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Expomal Tel: 603-8024 6500 Fax: 603-8024 8740 Email: 22-25 AUGUST 2007 FOOD & HOTEL MALAYSIA Food, Drinks, Hotel, Restaurant & Foodservice Equipment Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Malaysian Exhibition Services Tel: +603 4041 0311 Fax: +603 4043 7241 Email:


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between the lines The Gulfood event in Dubai serves as an excellent barometer reading of how the food and beverage industry is developing in the GCC region. More than that, with over 70 countries represented, it gives a pretty fair indication of the degree of importance given to Halal-related issues, not just in the region, but around the world. This year, Halal turned the corner.

Joining the dots I first went to Dubai

Words By in 1982, and I don’t need to HAJJ ABDALHAMID EVANS tell you that in the last twenty-

five years a few things have changed. While one might take issue with some of the things that have risen out of the sand, the sheer pace of change, the transition from vision to construction is so consistently rapid there that it makes one startlingly clear point: If you really need to get something done, avoid democracy. It is simply too slow. If you are in a hurry, nothing beats direct rule. Dubai’s Gulfood expo has become a regular stop for us. As food expos go, it is one of the best; with some 2,000 exhibitors and an estimated 40,000 trade visitors it can be a bit overwhelming, but it sure is a good way to see people all in one place. For The Halal Journal, this year’s event was special, and will go down in our version of history as the year Halal finally got on the map. In 2005, we were a curiosity; in 2006, we were interesting but maybe not important; this year there was a buzz about Halal, and a real sense that it will play a key role in the next phase of growth in the GCC food industry. This was really welcome news. Coming from Southeast Asia, we are used to Halal being part of the development agenda, especially in Malaysia. We have long recognised that in a multi-cultural society, Halal compliance takes on a greater importance; the boundary is right in front of you, and you want to make sure that Halal integrity is maintained. This is also the case in Europe and the USA, where Halal food becomes an integral part of a Muslim identity. This is not the case in the Muslimmajority countries. We have so often heard the refrain, “We are all Muslims, so we don’t need to be concerned with Halal certification,” and this has been true… up until now. However, the global nature of the Halal market, the complexity of the manufacturing process and the diversity of ingredient sources are currently converging to make Halal best practices, standards and certification some of the

WE HAVE SO OFTEN HEARD THE REFRAIN, “WE ARE ALL MUSLIMS, SO WE DON’T NEED TO BE CONCERNED WITH HALAL CERTIFICATION,” AND THIS HAS BEEN TRUE… UP UNTIL NOW. key issues of the next decade. And because so much of the world’s food is produced in non-Muslim lands, the general trend has been to define, communicate, adapt and, where necessary, impose the parameters of Halal compliance onto the industrial process. From the outside in, so to speak. What became clear at Gulfood is that among the jostling diversity of the marketplace, there are those people for whom Halal is more than just a key to market access. It is a portion of God’s gift to mankind; lawful, wholesome, safe, healthy, pleasing. For these people, Halal is not just about the end product; it is the entire process. It is a trust, an honour and a responsibility.

The feeling that Halal

is on the way to finding its rightful place of importance among the Arab manufacturing companies came fully into focus in our meetings with Dubai food manufacturers, Al Islami. CEO Saleh Lootah and his team have put the meaning and values of Halal at the centre of their entire operation, and have practiced what they call “Halal diffusion”, i.e. getting the values of Halal to permeate all the way through the company, from the core to the corners. Branding

gurus will talk to you about getting your brand values to run right the way through your corporation, into the people, the process and the product. Well, that is what they have done with Halal at Al Islami. They are not waiting for the certification agency to come along and tell them whether they are compliant (not that there are any in the UAE – yet). They have simply taken the view that as Muslim manufacturers, it is their responsibility to get it right; from the ingredients to the financing, they have set Halal as their benchmark, and in doing so have actually become a benchmark in their own right. I am not really a culinary fan of hotdogs and chicken nuggets, although I recognise their significance in the marketplace. So I am not praising Al Islami because of their products; for me the product is actually secondary. What was impressive was the way a Halal vision had been translated into a complete process, with Halal being imposed from the inside out. And amid all the snacks and samples and tasters of Gulfood, finding an Arab Muslim champion in the Halal food industry left a very good taste in the mouth, and a real sense that we – as an industry hj – are making real progress.


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3 GOOD REASONS WHY you should be in Malaysia in May REASON #1

WORLD HALAL FORUM 2007 SECOND WORLD HALAL FORUM EXPECTED TO STEER THE GLOBAL HALAL MARKET The second World Halal Forum 2007 (WHF 2007), scheduled to be held at the prestigious Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from May 7 to 8 will see the culmination of all developments achieved since the inaugural World Halal Forum, which is expected to steer the global Halal market. Themed ‘Harmonising the Global Halal Market’, the agenda for WHF 2007 will cover the topics of manufacturing, trade and investment, standards, Shariah and science – all key ingredients for the making of a robust global Halal economy. Examining the key issues and reaching for possible solutions will help to formulate a new Halal blueprint to move the industry forward. A total of 12 invited speakers will be presenting their papers at the two-day forum, which will see industry leaders and world-class speakers highlighting developments of the Halal market, including business trends as well as policy and regulations, which makes for valuable information for delegates to understand and apply, as well as for networking in this fast-evolving market. Besides presentations by guest speakers, the forum will also have several moderated open panel sessions to encourage the exchange of views and ideas, experiences which hopefully would lead to ways to promote and strengthen the commercial applications of Halal in its entire value chain. In addition to the Forum itself, there will be several one-day post-forum workshops that will enable delegates to go in greater depth into several important or urgent topics. Foremost among these post-forum events will be the first formal meeting of the IHI, the newly-formed International Halal Industry Alliance that was conceived at WHF 2006. Halal market issues are clearly making their way onto the national agendas of several countries – Malaysia, Turkey, Canada, the UK, the UAE, Thailand, Indonesia - and the WHF is likely to see many senior trade commissioners in attendance. With more countries sensing the rising interest in the Halal sector, the opportunities for trade and investment will increase proportionally. Certainly the industry leaders and decision-makers in tune with the Halal sector seem to be in agreement that the time has now come for discussion to be linked directly to strategic planning and action. If you are in the business, you cannot afford to miss it. Seriously.

Scenes from the inaugural World Halal Forum. Delegates got their money’s worth, and so did the sponsors.


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TENTATIVE TOPICS TO BE DELIBERATED Among the topics that will be highlighted and deliberated during the two-day forum will be current and pertinent issues surrounding the global Halal market. To be discussed in the morning session on the first day will be areas of manufacturing, including: Issues within the Halal market ingredient sector; highlighting Halal substitutes for animal-based ingredients, simultaneously bypassing trans-fat issues to ensure Halal means Healthy. Developing Halal protocols for multinational corporations; in terms of applying Halal protocols internationally and communicating Halal across departmental boundaries. Future manufacturing trends in the Halal food sector; which deals with food safety implications for manufacturers and using higher standards to ensure wider market access. The afternoon session on Day 1 meanwhile will have a central theme of standards and science with the following topics: Challenges for multinationals in the global Halal market; including ways to maintain Halal compliance across different markets and suggestions for integrating the Halal supply-chain. Developing an integrated framework

for a national Halal industry; including getting the industry and the government on the same page and ways to optimise the audit and certification processes. Halal – Scientifically Safer and Healthier? Ground-breaking research from leading researcher indicates that the Halal process is healthier, safer…and therefore better business. The first session on Day 2 will identify what a Halal industry actually means, with riveting topics such as: A unified voice for the Halal industry - creating a dynamic platform for the Halal industry, developing best practices in a global market, and proposed projects to benefit the industry and the consumer. Corporate social responsibility in the Halal sector. When you have Halal products and Halal profits, then what? It’s about nurturing the Muslim community and promoting Muslim ownership of global brands. The final session will see deliberations on trade and investment issues, including a final paper on Shariah law. The topics include: Developing financial products for the Halal market, including ways to maximise potential synergies between Halal sector and Islamic finance; why the Halal industry needs Islamic banking

services, and why Islamic banks should be focusing on the booming Halal market. Halal as a catalyst for trade between OIC nations - making Halal manufacture and trade a priority for the OIC nations; incentives and investment opportunities for developing nations and ICCI as a tool to develop the Halal market globally. Cluster applications for the Halal industry, which looks at why cluster theory is tailor-made for the Halal market, bringing the Halal industry into the 21st century. Shariah law priorities in the Halal market, which assess the priorities for Shariah compliance and applications of Islamic law for 21st century industry and commerce. Relevant questions and feedback submitted during the two days of the forum will be compiled and panellists and speakers will address and deliberate on key issues, concerns and suggestions by the delegates. A formal resolution will be compiled at the end of the forum. If you are in the Halal industry, you cannot afford to miss being in Kuala Lumpur on 7 - 9 May 2007. We look forward to welcoming you to what is shaping up to be an exceptional event. Log on to www.worldhalalforum. org to sign up online or call the WHF Secretariat at +603-6203 1025 today!


Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre with the iconic Petronas Twin Towers as a backdrop.

The upcoming World Halal Forum 2007 in May is actually a sound investment considering the priceless future returns to your organisation by being part of a pioneer group that charts the course of the global Halal industry over the next decade. For starters, delegates get first hand information and knowledge on how to steer one’s organisation within this highly lucrative industry, enabling one to identify the areas of opportunity and prospect. To be hosted by the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) and attended by all the prime movers and shakers of the Halal industry, delegates are expected to have invaluable networking opportunities within the circle that matters. To be staged at the magnificent Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre with the iconic Petronas Twin Towers as a backdrop, WHF 2007 will also have a world class convention centre for a venue, specifically designed to host regional and international conventions, trade shows, and public exhibitions. This in itself is a real value-for-money deal. An early bird rate of just USD375 (RM1,350) is available for delegates until 31 March 2007. The offer also extends to returning delegates from the inaugural WHF 2006. Normal price is USD430 (RM1,550). For accommodations, three packaged options are available to suit one’s budget, either in the adjoining 600room, four-star Traders Hotel, the nearby Prince Hotel or the chic Novotel Kuala Lumpur. Packaged room price ranges between USD470 (RM1,760) to USD810 (RM2,960) for a 4 day / 3 night stay from May 6 – 9, 2007. For more information on attending the World Halal Forum, log on to or call the WHF Secretariat at +603 6203 1025. Book your seat now!


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WHF INDUSTRY DIALOGUE DUBAI: HALAL CATCHING ON IN THE ARAB HEARTLANDS Not just a once a year event, the World Halal Forum – Industry Dialogues have or will take place in many different countries around the world leading up to the main event in May. Australia, Brunei, Thailand, Dubai, South Africa, and Bahrain are some of the countries on that list. The latest addition is Dubai, where the Halal agenda finally got on the menu at Gulfood this year with the first WHF Halal Industry Dialogue on 21st February. Organised by KasehDia and sponsored by Al Islami, this one-day interactive event was well attended by a truly international group of around 60 people. The line-up of speakers included Hassan Rimawi of Al Islami, Dr Habib M’Nasria of McDonalds International, Falah Alizzi of Maple Lodge Zabiha Halal and Hajj Abdalhamid Evans of the IHI Alliance. In conjunction with The Halal Journal stand in the busy

From left, Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) CEO Dato’ Jamil Bidin, Al Islami CEO Saleh Abdullah Lootah and KasehDia director Nordin Abdullah at the World Halal Forum Industry Dialogue in Dubai.

main concourse, this WHF Halal Industry Dialogue, entitled “Going Global With Halal” served as a good way of raising awareness in the GCC area of the importance of the Halal market. Al Islami emphatically reenforced their leadership role in the Halal industry in the GCC region, and it is fair to say that they are likely to play a pivotal

role in future Halal-related developments in that region. Malaysia’s Halal Industry Development Corporation, HDC, hosted a 70-seat dinner after the Dialogue and animated discussions of the current Halal industry possibilities went on well into the night. With representatives from all over the world, it was a real gathering of Halal industry’s



Al Islami CEO Saleh Abdullah Lootah proudly showing off his company’s intense branding at the recent Gulfood in the presence of HDC’s CEO Dato’ Jamil Bidin.

movers and shakers, and offered a tantalising taste of things to come. With Halal now catching on in the Arab heartlands, we are likely to see a major step up in the awareness level throughout the Muslim world, and this can only do good for the overall market. For more info, please log on to

WHF 2006 HIGHLIGHTS The inaugural World Halal Forum was a resounding success, not just for the organisers, but also for every Halal industry player. Finally (and about time too), the global Halal industry found a voice, and the whole world is listening. If it’s about government support, WHF 2006 saw the Prime Minister of Malaysia and chairman of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), Datuk Seri Hj. Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, presenting his vision for the role of the Halal industry in Malaysia and the OIC nations. One key element of success was the announcement by the premier on the formation of the Halal Industry Development Corporation or HDC. WHF 2006 also produced the desired results. Two resolutions were unanimously adopted by the forum that will forever change the face of the Halal industry, which include, a) the creation of an International Halal Industry Alliance to give the industry a unified voice and focus, and b) lobbying for the creation of a specific fund to promote the Halal industry amongst OIC nations and Muslim minorities around the world. A total of 730 participants from the industry, media, NGOs and government bodies gathered for three days and virtually ushered in a new era for the Halal industry. An extensive and well-coordinated

Some of the delegates of the inaugural World Halal Forum 2006.

media and PR campaign resulted in an unprecedented RM6 million in media value, either in print, television, radio and online coverage. The prospects for the World Halal Forum 2007 are frankly extremely exciting. Initial response indicates that it will be significantly bigger and more influential than last year, with greater participation and recognition from relevant governments. To sign up, log on to or call the WHF Secretariat at +603 6203 1025 for more info.


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THE 3RD MALAYSIAN INTERNATIONAL HALAL SHOWCASE (MIHAS) EXPANDING THE HALAL FRONTIER The Malaysia International Halal Showcase, or MIHAS, is set to take place for the fourth consecutive year from 9-13 May 2007 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, KLCC in Malaysia. The world’s flagship Halal trade fair is expecting over 500 exhibition booths from over 25 countries – all Halal, all geared for more business, towards the common vision to facilitate and expand the frontiers of the Halal market. Since its inception in 2004, MIHAS has grown to be Malaysia’s largest food and beverage exhibition and the world’s largest Halal trade fair. MIHAS has created an iconic brand name for itself as the trading venue for the international Halal industry. Its continuous success and its strategic positioning have won the full support and involvement of the Malaysian government and this vote of confidence will ensure the continued steady growth of the Halal industry.

Thus, MIHAS stands as the best entry point and gateway through which forwardlooking businesses can develop strategic partnerships, introduce their products and penetrate the global Muslim market. The presence of prominent buyers, especially from Malaysia and its ASEAN neighbours, allows global Halal entrepreneurs to gauge receptiveness to their products and its feasibility to enter the huge ASEAN market. Last year, MIHAS attracted 392 companies and 27,523 visitors to its 505 booths. MIHAS chief executive officer Mohd Shukri Abdullah said he is confident that this year’s showcase will see a 25 per cent increase in the number of visitors and that trade visitors will be able to meet their overall target of garnering more support in the local as well as international Halal industry. “It is the international aspect of the event that most in the Halal industry look forward to. We continuously visit 10 – 15 countries in many parts of the world and have received

The Minister of International Trade and Industry, Dato’ Seri Rafidah Aziz (third from left), launching MIHAS 2007 and the World Halal Forum 2007 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on 22 January 2007.

enthusiastic queries about the opportunities at MIHAS. For this year’s event, we have been actively promoting the trade fair in France, South Africa, Dubai, Jeddah, Turkey, Australia, and the UK,” said Shukri. He also emphasised that the MIHAS trade show offers immense opportunities for all international Halal manufacturers to tap on the strength of Malaysia as a well-respected Muslim country and to use it as a stepping stone to establish trade links with OIC countries and the pockets of minority Muslim populations all over the world eager to obtain quality and trusted Halal products. “Response has been very encouraging. We anticipate strong representation from Turkey, Australia, Middle East, Iran and Indonesia. Halal producers from India, Australia and Egypt have already made early booth reservations. Therefore, I would like to invite Halal manufacturers from all over the world to participate in MIHAS 2007 and claim your share of the global Halal market”, he added. MIHAS 2007 is hosted by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and is organised by MATRADE jointly with the Islamic Dakwah Foundation Malaysia (YADIM) in association with the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development (MECD). It will open its doors from May 9 to 13 after the World Halal Forum which is held also at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from May 7 to 8. For more enquiries, log on to www.halal. or contact MIHAS secretariat at +603 2161 0001 or email


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MATRADE NEWS : MATRADE TARGETS RM200 MIL FROM MIHAS’ BUSINESS MATCHING The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) will once again organise its highly successful Incoming Buying Mission (IBMs) for MIHAS 2007 where prospective international buyers are identified and matched with Malaysian Halal producers. For this year, MATRADE expects to maintain its high rate of success, following last year’s record of 2,506 trade meetings held over two days, which yielded total sales of RM168.3 million. Total sales from the previous year’s MIHAS were RM229.9 million, having matched 75 foreign companies with 197 Malaysian businesses. For this year’s MIHAS, MATRADE hopes to attract at least 300 foreign companies to match with over 350 Malaysian companies producing Halal-certified products. A total of

2,757 meetings have been scheduled with RM200 million worth of sales targeted during the two-day business matching session. “There has been an increase in the number of Incoming Buying Missions organised by MATRADE. IBMs have been found to be a very cost-effective tool to promote Malaysian products and services. A total of 745 buyers from 93 countries were brought into the country to visit international level exhibition, including MIHAS,” said the outgoing Datuk Merlyn Kasimir in one of his last interviews as MATRADE’s CEO. “Several local companies, particularly SMEs netted sales close to RM4.1 billion during the match making sessions. We will definitely continue to bring more IBMs in the future,” he added. Representatives of MATRADE, MIHAS and

World Halal Forum have been aggressively promoting both events in a number of specialised marketing missions organised to several targeted countries around the world, including to South Africa, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Singapore and Indonesia.

MIHAS Statistics INCOMING BUYING MISSION TRADE STATISTICS MIHAS 2005 No. of Foreign Companies 75 No. of Malaysian Suppliers 197 No. of Meetings 753 Total Sales RM229.9 million

MIHAS 2006 164 320 2,506 RM168.3 million

STATISTICS FROM PAST MIHAS MIHAS 2007 (Projected) 300 325 2,757 RM200 million



No of Exhibitors Local International

CURRENT STATUS (As at 7 March 2007) 369 companies 284 companies 85 companies

No of Booths Local International

468 booths 362 booths 106 booths

*514 booths

Total Participating Countries No of Visitors Total Visiting Countries

20 countries -

25 countries 35, 000 visitors 80 countries

* The maximum capacity for KLCC is 514 booths

430 companies

MIHAS 2005 MIHAS 2006 EXHIBITORS Booth Company Local International Exhibiting Countries

415 332 233 99

505 392 302 90



EXHIBITORS PROFILE Halal Food & Premises 57.7% Non-food Products 20.3% ICM & Financial Services 4.8% Gov. Agencies & Association 12.9% Others 4.3% VISITORS Trade Buyers Public Visiting Countries TOTAL TOP 5

79.3% 2.6% 3.8% 8.7% 5.6%

8,204 4,227 35 12,431

12, 511 15, 012 60 27,523

Indonesia Singapore Brunei India Thailand

Singapore China Indonesia South Africa Philippines


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INTERNATIONAL HALAL RESTAURANT AWARDS DINNER CELEBRATING DIVERSITY OF MALAYSIAN HALAL FOOD To celebrate the foreign World Halal Forum delegates coming to Malaysia and in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2007, KasehDia and Tourism Malaysia will be organising a gala dinner tentatively scheduled for May 9, right after the World Halal Forum 2007. To be held at the culturally-centric Saloma Theatre Restaurant in Jalan Ampang, World Halal Forum delegates who sign up before 31st March 2007 will automatically receive an invitation to the dinner, which will also see the presentation of the winners for the 3rd Halal Restaurants Awards. All restaurants featured in the latest edition of the Halal Food: Kuala Lumpur 2007/08 – A Guide To Good Eating are automatically in the running for the award, which will have six categories up for grabs, including Best Malay Food, Chinese, Indian, Western, Middle Eastern, as well as the Editor’s Choice Awards. Halal restaurants which were featured in KasehDia’s International Halal Food Guide series from Singapore, London and Dubai and countries like Australia, Canada and New Zealand will also get a chance to win awards that special evening. Said Nordin Abdullah, director of KasehDia, “We want to entice WHF delegates and visitors to experience a different dimension of the country, to savour and be satiated by good, tasty food, hygienically prepared and served. We also wanted to celebrate the diversity yet common ties that we all have; tourists and locals alike, towards the love for good Halal food by organising this gala dinner.” To take part and experience an evening of glamorous cultural and culinary experience, sign up now for the World Halal Forum 2007, as seats for the dinner are very limited. For more information, kindly contact Lilyana Aziz at +603 6203 1025 or email Saloma Theatre Restaurant


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KasehDia unveiled its latest achievement within its famed international series of Halal food guides, which was unveiled to an appreciative audience at the Carcosa Seri Negara on Friday, February 23, 2007. Within the grandiose confines of the function hall which was bursting at the seams with representatives from the Ministry of Tourism, the Halal Development Corporation, many respected political and corporate personalities, the Halal Food: Kuala Lumpur 2007/08 – A Guide To Good Eating was launched with great fanfare and much celebration. Containing objective, un-rated reviews of handpicked restaurants and food outlets serving Halal fare, the guide achieves two objectives: providing Malaysian Muslim residents with an updated quick and easy reference of Halal eateries, as well as giving Muslim travellers to Malaysia a one-stop information source that encapsulates essential information. Said the minister of tourism Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, who was the guest of honour at the guide’s launch: “Food is the one thing that can unite a diverse group of people.” Echoing the cosmopolitan nature of Muslims worldwide, the guide book highlights the vast variety of international cuisines – Italian, Chinese, Indian, Iranian and more – served in Malaysia that are Halal, wholesome and utterly delicious. “In Malaysia, food is living testament of the country’s unique fusion of cultures…uniquely Malaysian, a delicious blend of influences from the Malay, Chinese, Indian, Eurasian, and Nyonya

communities in Malaysia,” continued the minister in his officiating speech. The guide is the second, up-to-date edition for the Kuala Lumpur city edition, making it the ninth member in the family of guide books that includes KasehDia’s Halal food guides of London, Dubai, Singapore, Australia and even an Arabic language version of the first Kuala Lumpur edition. Plans are underway for KasehDia to upload the entire series of its Halal food guides onto a website – – which is a giant leap into the age of technology: indeed, a feat of worthy mention given the guide’s humble beginnings in 2003. An unexpected success, the KasehDia Halal food guide series warranted special jury mention at the 10th Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in February 2005 in Sweden, where the first Kuala Lumpur edition earned the honour of being in the top three “Best Guides In The World Awards”. Jumaatun Azmi, KasehDia’s Managing Director and Editor of the guide book, said: “We are proud to launch our new edition of Halal Food: Kuala Lumpur 2007/08. It has been KasehDia’s ongoing ambition to publicise Malaysia as a choice Halal destination, not just food but also in various other applications, in line with the Third Industrial Master Plan on Halal. For this edition,” she continued, “we have approached a simplified format, wherein one category covers Halal-certified restaurants and another category covering restaurants owned by Muslims, individuals and corporations.” “The guide will promote the various nooks and corners where good Halal cuisine can be discovered, create the awareness of the existence and superior quality of Halal food amongst Muslim travellers, international visitors and amongst business circles, too,” she enthused. The 128-page book, retailing at RM19.90 from March 2007 onwards, is conveniently small-sized and is expected to be a popular and much thumbed-through reference tome for hotel staff when in-house guests approach them with outside Halal dining enquiries. With a print run of 20,000 copies, the Ministry of Tourism will be the beneficiary of 10,000 copies of the guide for their distribution to various partners and offices. For more info or to get a copy of the new Halal food guide, email your enquiries to

Jumaatun Azmi (left), KasehDia director and Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, minister of tourism at the launch of the new Halal food guide.

From left, Jumaatun Azmi, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan and Khairy Jamaluddin as the chairman of World Halal Forum addressing the media during the press conference after the launch.

Among the VIPs who attended the launch, including national laureate A. Samad Said (left), his wife (centre) and another guest.

A recital of do’a before the launch ceremony.


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event highlights

EVENT: Thaifex - World of Food Asia: Further growth expected Since its debut in 2004, the trade fair, Thaifex - World of Food Asia, has flourished into a major event for the food and beverage sector in Southeast Asia. Its fourth instalment this year is expected to grow even bigger with more than 1,000 suppliers from 30 countries expected to take part in this year’s event, scheduled to be held at the Impact Exhibition Centre in Bangkok from May 23 to 27, 2007. Of the 80,000-plus visitors who attended last year’s trade fair, nearly 20,000 were visitors from the trade, food service and catering market, which clearly demonstrated its positive growth. In addition to further increase in the number of exhibitors and visitors for the upcoming event, the organisers are also expecting the fair’s international capacity, as well as the expertise presented at the fair, to surpass that of previous events. Organised by Koelnmesse GmbH in cooperation with Thailand’s Department of Export Promotion and the Thai Chamber of

Commerce, Thaifex - World of Food Asia’s range of exhibitors comprises food and drinks manufacturers and retailers, food technologists, catering services, franchise system managers, as well as hotel and restaurant suppliers. Additional attractions this year will include a procurement centre programme, an accompanying congress programme, and the traditional cooking demonstrations and seminars. In addition to the established pull factors, other new segments that will be highlighted at Thaifex this year include the organic and Halal food groups, which will be presented in special exhibition areas. Recent studies indicate that trade in organic foods is growing worldwide. As the spectrum of organic products becomes increasingly diverse, the number of dealers is also rising, as with logistics and delivery solution providers. This ongoing growth in demand also means that food producers are becoming more involved in supplying organic items.

Recently published reports also confirm a continued demand growth for Halal food products - even from non-Muslim consumers. One obvious reason for this is the high standards and strict monitoring governing Halal food, which ensure that the products’ quality is clearly defined, carefully inspected and adhered to. With more than 90 companies expected to present Halal food products at Thaifex, the significant growth of the global Halal market is certainly not being ignored here in Bangkok. Helping to increase the hype will be the Islamic Committee of Thailand and the Thai Department of Export Promotion, who will jointly organise seminars and help set up the special Halal exhibition areas. Thaifex - World of Food Asia will be open to trade visitors for the first three days (May 23 - 25) and consequently to the public in the final two days (May 26 - 27). For further information, please log hj on to

EVENT: Million Dollar Deals Sealed at Gulfood 2007 The volume of trade recorded at this year’s Gulfood 2007 is breaking all previous records, with a high number of exhibitors already closing multimillion dollar deals at the region’s largest hospitality, food and beverage show. Exhibitors at the show have praised the event for maintaining its strong trade focus, even while the number of exhibitors and visitors has grown significantly over recent years. Among the major trade agreements already sealed are deals to ship spices to Syria and South Africa, recorded by market leaders GYMA; a contract to supply machines, ingredients, training and services to over 100 shops in the GCC by La Marquise International; and over two million dollars worth of business for The Irish Dairy Board, which has already sold 600 tonnes of dairy products by the third day of the event. “Gulfood has grown significantly this year, both in the number of visitors and also the volume of business enquiries.

The global focus of the event always means that you have the opportunity to meet distributors and buyers from new markets,” said Ghassan Kazbar, Business Development Manager – UAE Market, Al Ghurair foods, a leading manufacturer of flour, pasta, noodles and edible oils. Spice and dried fruit processor and packager GYMA has also experienced strong demand for its offerings throughout the show. Anurag Malkoti, marketing manager, GYMA comments, “The level of interest has been extraordinary. We encountered around 600 queries on the first day alone – 80 per cent of which were export queries. Given our ambitious plans for growth, this event provides us with a perfect platform to further develop internationally.” GYMA signed a number of major deals during the show, and expects to export an additional 50 to 60 tonnes of spices a month directly as a result of deals already closed at Gulfood. La Marquise International also expects

a sharp rise in business, with major contracts signed at the event including a deal to supply over 100 shops for a major food chain across the region. “The volume of business leads generated at this year’s Gulfood has been extremely high, but it’s the scale and quality of some of the deals under discussion which makes it such an exciting event,” said Anthony Bedoyan, Technical Commercial Manager, La Marquise International. Organisers are confident that the total volume of trade generated by Gulfood will easily exceed that of previous years. Final figures – including the full tally of visitors – are due to be released after the show. Gulfood 2008 is set to return February 24 to 27, with an extra 10,000 square metres of exhibition space allocated at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. For more information, please log hj on to


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Much ado about

the Malaysian Halal food industry

Malaysia’s Halal food sector is no longer merely an industry that complies with religious requirement to feed the 60.4 per cent of the 26.9 million Malaysians who are Muslims: it is becoming an economic force in its own right domestically and globally.



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uch has been said in the past few years about Malaysia’s drive to be a Halal hub: from the setting-up of a central agency to drive and govern best practices in the development of the Halal industry, to the allocation of RM95 million by the Malaysian government to see this vision become a reality. But that this is just part of the Halal industry story, which covers food sectors as well as non-food sectors such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and financial services. When you look keenly at the who, what and why of the Halal food industry, specifically, it simply makes good business sense – if you are remotely connected to the food sector – to go Halal. Looking at the Third Industrial Master Plan (IMP3), Malaysia’s government is tasked with making the Halal hub a reality in the short span of two years, starting in 2006. And there are plenty of reasons for Halal food sector players to strike while the iron is hot. For starters, the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA) reports that special tax incentives are in place for Halal food production. Companies that invest in Halal food production and have already obtained Halal certification from the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (JAKIM) are eligible for the Investment Tax Allowance of 100 per cent of qualifying capital expenditure within a period of five years. Designed to encourage new investment in Halal food production – especially for the export market – as well as increase the use of modern and state-of-the-art machinery and equipment, this can only have good spill-over effects for downstream contractors tasked with providing the necessary tools for production. The allowance can be offset, says the report, against 100 per cent of the statutory income in the year of assessment. Additionally, there is the offering of a double deduction (for purposes of income tax computation) of expenses incurred by companies in obtaining Halal certification. This incentive, fully backed by the Inland Revenue Board, is designed to enhance the competitiveness of Malaysian companies in the global Halal products market. When one considers that the global Halal food market is currently estimated to be worth well over RM500 billion currently – with projections citing the market value to hit RM1.8 trillion by 2010 – it would be foolish to perhaps discount any opportunity to grab a slice of the market: whether one plans to compete nationally, regionally or internationally. One such company that recognises this opportunity is Nestle. Although the company has built a stellar reputation and solid brand with Malaysian Muslim consumers, it also understands the trend of growing Halal food consumption on a global scale. This is evident in its recent collaboration with an international retailer to introduce its Halal products in 40 stores in the United Kingdom. More importantly, however, is the fact that this good business sense stems from Nestle Malaysia being recognised within the Nestle worldwide group as being

a centre of excellence for Halal matters “in the Nestle world.” This is undoubtedly a strong contributing factor towards making Malaysia a recognised Halal food hub worldwide – a case of inevitable reflected glory that began with the company having recognised the importance of Malaysian Muslim consumers in the first place. Operating eight factories and six sales and distribution companies – all Halal certified – within Malaysian shores, Nestle is also noted for having worked very closely with the Malaysian government in all matters relating to Halal food production. It is also credited for being one of the first few conglomerates to have voluntarily requested for Malaysian Halal certification when the official framework was first introduced in 1996. To add even further lustre to its strong domestic presence, Nestle has also notched another point in its recent decision to make Malaysia its global Halal food production centre. The Malaysian Nestle production facility is but part of the equation: the other part is Nestle working together with MISC Integrated Logistics Sdn Bhd (MILS) as the latter houses a Halal cold storage facility in Westport, Port Klang.


hen one considers that JAKIM “no longer issues Halal certificates and logos for products manufactured outside Malaysia in which to be sold locally and internationally” (source: my) in tandem with the stark reality that (a) there is no globallystandardised Halal authority and (b) there are an estimated 1.8 billion Muslim consumers worldwide: Malaysia is understandably a choice location and starting point for many Halal food manufacturers. And if you’re not convinced, then you will be soon. One such opportunity presents itself in the case of Chinese Halal food producers who are eyeing the Port Klang Free Zone Halal Hub (PKFZ) as a conduit with which to gain access to crucial Muslim markets – not just Malaysia itself,

When you look keenly at the w h o , what and why o f t h e Halal food ind u s t r y, specifically, it s i m p l y makes good bu s i n e s s sense – if you a r e remotely conne c t e d to the food sec t o r – to go Halal.

where, really, over 16 million Muslims are ready to spend their ever-increasing cache of disposable income – but also to the rest of Asia, Middle East and Europe. Unfortunately, the absence of endorsement by a Halal authority in China has hindered efforts by Chinese Halal foodstuff manufacturers in gaining a foothold in the Halal food market, but the PKFZ houses all the necessary tools and personnel to stimulate - and aid – this movement of Halal food products: the most critical one being the presence of the central agency JAKIM. Together with the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) and SIRIM (the national Malaysian organisation of standardisation and quality), local and foreign investors parked in PKFZ’s designated Halal hub can expect and enjoy fast-tracked approvals for their Halal products. Meanwhile, the facilities at Malaysia’s Northport are fully geared to boost the Halal food trade. Over 80 shipping lines currently ply the port, forming part of the critical links in the transport and logistics chain for Halal products, from manufacturers


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to the international market. The well-connected routes lead to more than a billion Muslim consumers worldwide, especially in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, and Halal cargo is reported to constitute part of the 2.7 million TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units, a global standard of measure for international freight cargo containers) handled by the port last year.


side from the port having established dedicated shipping services linking Northport with key Muslim consumer markets in Pakistan and the Middle East, there is also the weekly “Halal Express” by MISC Bhd, part of a growing number of solutions in anticipation of the increased volume and movement of Halal products that demand specialised transport and logistic services. Additionally, Northport is reported to be looking at a collaboration with the Port of Rotterdam, the sole certified Halal Hub that is the gateway to some 30 million Muslims in Europe. Recent news reports also point to other positive moves: March 2007 sees the Malaysia Mart in Dubai – organised with the help of the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia – showcasing products from Malaysian SMEs to buyers in the region. This has double benefits as Dubai is one of the main distribution centres globally for Halal products, (some RM525 billion worth of Halal goods move through Dubai annually) and the centre promoting Malaysian processed Halal foods and beverages in addition to other Halal products. With Malaysian-made commercial and market incentives for both local and international Halal food manufacturers in place, together with growing Muslim consumer demand worldwide, supported by macro-facilities and gateways, it is becoming hard to ignore Malaysia’s key position as a Halal food hub. On a micro-level, Malaysia has readied herself to be a centre of Halal food packaging and processing in tandem with companies from corners of the globe such as China and even more far-flung, the Middle East. Thanks to Malaysian Halal certification being recognised by many Muslim countries and communities, an opportunity exists with Halal foods manufactured in China but certified and packaged in Malaysia, stretching even as far as to include religious and veterinary officials inspecting agriculture and food factories and facilities in China. This is but one instance – Malaysian certification of Halal food produced in China – that demonstrates Malaysia’s pioneering efforts and leading position in matters of Halal food: not a bad start when you realise that there are over 50 million Muslims in China itself. Domestically, the picture of the Halal food industry is equally rosy. It is no longer coincidental that strong brands are Halal-certified brands. A quick study of JAKIM-certified food outlets will show the dominance of flourishing (in number) and successful (in quality and branding) presence of well-loved names such as Secret Recipe, McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Delifrance, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, A&W, The Chicken Rice Shop, Nando’s and 1901 on JAKIM’s list. (There are over 33,000

N e s t l e M a l a ysia is recognised w i t h i n t h e Nestle w o r l d w i d e g roup a s b e i n g a c entre of excellence f o r H a l a l m a t t ers. T h i s i s u n d o u b t edly a s t r o n g c o n t r i b u t ing factor towards making Malaysia a r e c o g n i s e d H a l a l f o o d h u b w o r l d wide – a c a s e o f i n e v i t a b l e r e f l e c t e d g l ory t h a t b e g a n w i t h t h e c o m p a n y h a v ing r e c o g n i s e d t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f M a laysian M u s l i m c o n s u m e r s i n t h e f i r s t p l ace. companies – food and non-food – certified by JAKIM currently.) It is not negligent to mention that these JAKIM-certified outlets’ success can be attributed in part to comprehensive and recognised Halal certification: indeed, it would be negligent to think that the lack of Halal certification from a central agency does not matter. A worldwide trend has been reported in many journals, to show increasing evidence and proof that Muslim consumers – including Malaysians – are demanding Halal fast food and Halal convenience food. When you place the success of companies such as Nestle together with those ubiquitous fast/convenience food chains or franchises listed above, there is a unifying thread: the growing and very strong purchasing power of Muslim consumers demanding Halal food. The fact that these established brands offer Halal food is more than a happy coincidence: it is good, sound commercial foresight. As a food producer, it is potentially commercially-damaging not to include Halal certification as part of the marketing mix. Look at the figures: 62.6 per cent of the total Malaysian population falls into the 15-64 years age group, and (this has been stated before) 60.4 per cent of the population are Muslims. This means there are over 16 million

hungry consumers with money to spend, who are more likely than not to repeatedly (and more frequently) spend on reasonablypriced fast food or convenience food as a staple purchase, as opposed to occasionally parting with their money for higherpriced food served at up-market or mid-market eateries that are neither fast nor convenient, and more importantly, food providers who are not prolific in the number of their outlets nor with the presence of their food products. One would not need a market intelligence report to know that increasingly busy lifestyles and time-challenged schedules for the younger generation of Muslim consumers who are also becoming more savvy – with more information available at their fingertips – to know and demand fast and convenient Halal food choices. Viewing all the facts presented thus far, Halal food producers – Malaysian and otherwise – have an added competitive edge that can no longer be ignored nor dismissed lightly. The Halal food industry is no sleeping giant: it is striding forcefully into – and placing itself firmly – in the flourishing macro-economies of developed and developing countries, and in the microeconomics of sound business sense. hj


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The Chicken Rice Shop

(wholly owned by TCRS Restaurants Sdn Bhd) 31-3, Block C2, Jalan PJU 1/39, Dataran Prima, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan. • Tel: 03-7880 4133 • Fax: 03-7880 4122 • e-mail: •

Cover Story



By now, most must have formed a rough idea on how big the global Halal market is. But do you know which market is the most lucrative, or which product is more sellable where? The Halal Journal’s agri-economist, Irfan Sungkar, provides an expert view.


is widely known that the present market demand for Halal food from Muslim countries can fetch up to US$ 580 billion a year. As Halal food can also be consumed by the nonMuslims, the size of the market literally equals to that of the global food market demand. The estimated total global consumption of meat and meat-based products in 2005 for example, reached 159 million MT, while the consumption by Muslims is approximately at 29 million MT (Figure 1). The difference of 130 million MT is actually the consumption of ‘cross-over’ markets, which are the non-Muslims. Therefore, one may not need to be confined to the question of “how big is the market size”, now that the whole world is open for Halal food products. The questions raised by the exporters today should be ‘where’, ’what products’ and ‘how to enter’. These are the essential questions to be answered. To start with a break down of the population, Figure 2 presents the 15-year projection of global and Muslim population while Figure 3 looks at the regional distribution of Muslims in 2005.

It is clear that the Muslim population is growing at a much higher rate. According to US Centre for World Mission, the Muslim population grew at an average annual rate of 2.9 per cent. Thus, the world’s Muslims are actually growing at a rate of 0.6 per cent per year as compared to the world population growth. At this rate, Islam is expected to surpass Christianity as the world’s main religion by 2023. The regional composition of where the Muslims live is presented in Figure 3. As Islam has its five pillars of faith, the global Halal food markets can also be conveniently categorised into five major regions of the world: Asia, Middle East and North Africa; Europe; Australasia as well as North America. We take a closer look at each markets.


Although Asia (excluding Middle East) has the largest number of Muslims, the total food consumption is much less as compared to other regions due to the fact that most of the Muslim countries in Asia (Pakistan, Indonesia, China, India, etc), have lower GDP per-capita and hence, purchasing power. However, it is in Asia where the first major initiative to penetrate the global Halal food market was started. Malaysia, for example, since 1996 has announced that the country is aiming to position itself as an international Halal food hub. Thailand, the Philippines, and Brunei Darussalam have since joined the bandwagon when they find out that the global Halal food market is relatively untapped. With the establishment of the


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Charoen Pokphand, Laem Thong, In many Asian countries, Halal Industry Development Corporation in September GFPT, Saha Farms and Betagro there is a growing trend of ‘health 2006, Malaysia should be able to capitalise on the fact ������ �������� Group, this would actually make consumer that Malaysia has good credentials as an Islamic country. consciousness’ and as the����������� ��������� Thailand among the five largest becomes more educated, the Being the current chairman of OIC is also another plus poultry meat exporters in the world. Muslims in these countries begin point. Nevertheless, Malaysia must realise that other In Malaysia, Prima Agri �������� Products to question the integrity of the countries, such as Singapore and Thailand, are moving ��������� Sdn Bhd, the only EC-approved food products that claim to be very fast towards the same goal. Intensive promotions ����� ����� company to export processed Halal. The recent case of ������ sausage by the Singapore food industry with its advertising �������� ��������� ����� poultry meat products to EU casing in Malaysia (where the campaign tagline “Singapore Tasty” in the Middle East ��������� �������� countries, derives approximately source of casing is questionable) countries, including a grand country pavilion at the ����� 20 percent of its sales from����� the and the case of Ajinomoto in recently-held Gulfood exhibition in Dubai, gave clear �������� export market, which not only Indonesia (where porcine-based indications that Singapore has indeed taken the matter ��������� includes EU countries but also ingredients was used), were very seriously to become a ‘vital’ food hub of the world. Singapore, Hong Kong, MiddleMost of the larger Muslim countries in Asia also have examples of these alarming trends. East, South Asia, Brunei and many In terms of Halal meat exports, a lower per-capita protein intake, but this also means ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������������������������� others. Realising the potentials of some of the world’s leading food that the future potential is bright. A low base of perthe export market demand, Prima exporters have already established capita rate, with an average consumption growth rate of Agri at present is in the process of 7 per cent annually, would make their total consumption their operations in Asia, in addition ��������������������������������������������������������������������� developing Prima Halal Food Park to the domestic export-oriented double in the next ten years. In Indonesia for example, in����� Pahang with an annual capacity companies. UK-based Grampian this would mean an additional demand of 1.3 million ������ ��� between 50,000 and 60,000 MT. Foods for example, has an operation MT of poultry meat alone, not to mention other ����� ��� of in Thailand. Add to that list other ����� In addition to Prima Agri, some ������ types of foods. In Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, the the Malaysian integrators such as major local exporters such as magnitude of the situation is approximately the same. ������ ��� �����




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QSR/Ayamas, Sinmah and Dindings have already exported some of their products to Singapore, Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, etc. In Indonesia, the three largest meat companies, including PT. Charoen Pokphand Indonesia, PT. Japfa Comfeed and PT. Sierad Produce reportedly confined their production for the domestic market. With Indonesia’s population of more than 230 million population and a low per-capita consumption rate, these companies realise that there are a lot of remote areas in the country still relatively untapped. Recently however, the Indonesian government, through

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HALAL FOOD INDUSTRY��������������������������������������������������������������������� IN CHINA MEANWHILE, IS GROWING RAPIDLY AND �����










its export promotion agency NAFED, has started to seriously promote processed food from Indonesia to the global market. In India, the decision by the Office International Des Epizooties (OIE) which recognised that the country is rinderpest disease-free, has helped boost exports of Indian buffalo meat to Middle Eastern countries. India is the world’s largest exporter of buffalo meat, which at present, is mainly exported to Malaysia, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia. Indian exporters are now actively rebuilding their image of food quality, safety and Halal status with HACCP, ISO and Halal accreditation. Some of the leading Indian meat exporters include Allanasons, Hind Agro, Al-Kabeer, Arabian Exports, M.K. Overseas and Amroon Foods The Halal food industry in China, meanwhile, is growing rapidly and the industry is benefiting from the abundance of cheap labour. It has several EC-approved companies for export to EU countries. China food producers are also currently re-positioning themselves with more high value-added products rather than raw food products. In


January��� 2006, in a bid to forge a ���� cooperative ��� mechanism for food safety which will eventually pave �� the way for more exports from China, an��MoU was signed between the European Commission and the �� China’s General Administration of �� Quality, Supervision, Inspection � and Quarantine (AQSIQ). ����


MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA: ������������������������� HIGH PURCHASING POWER ��������������������������������� Compared to other Asian countries, the Middle East, especially the GCC countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman) have a relatively high level of food consumption due to higher per-capita income. As resourcesrich countries with oil and gas, but lacking agricultural production capacity, these countries import close to 80 percent of the total food demand. As almost all of the population are Muslims, food imports must be Halal. However, it is important to note that the Halal logo is only allowed to be put on meat and meat-based products; not on any other products. Saudi Arabia imports more than US$ 6 billion of food products annually from various sources of

������ exporters the world. In terms of poultry meat, Brazilian such as Sadia, Seara and Perdigao control more than ������ 70 per cent of the market share while the rest were ����� imported from EU countries, USA and a small quantity ����� from South Africa, Lebanon and Asian countries. It is quite surprising to note that many Saudi Arabian ����� manufacturers are innovative in terms of product ����� development. A leading manufacturer, Al-Radwa Farms, � This has even launched a packaged ‘satay’ product. ���� ���� product is not���� only available in Saudi Arabia, but also in other neighbouring countries such as in Kuwait and ��������������������� the United Arab Emirates. Other leading manufacturers in Saudi Arabia include Al-Watania, Supreme Foods, Nash Meat, Sunbullah and several others. The United Arab Emirates, with a population of about 4.2 million, has seen phenomenal growth in its economic development. Although local citizens consist of only between 10 to 15 percent of the total population, the demand for food products is not too far behind Saudi Arabia. With increasing expatriates and foreign labour, the demand for food products is becoming more diverse and the consumers are opening up to new products. In a typical hypermarket shelf in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, there are more than 30 different types of chicken nuggets. Imported products from Brazil dominates the market, although half of the imports goes to the local processors for additional processing since domestic production is limited, at about 10 percent of total consumption in the country. Although Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE, Dubai is the trading centre of the nation. Domestic manufacturers such as Al-Islami Foods (previously


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company in Egypt and its products known as Coop-Islami), Al-Kabeer, (the ‘Americana’ brand) are exported Al-Areesh, Arctic Gold, Royal Meat and ������������������������������������������������������������� to several Middle Eastern markets. Emirates Meat already export a significant proportion of their total production to ������� � other GCC countries and other Middle- �������EUROPE: WHOLESOME AND SAFE IMAGE ������� � East countries, as������� well as North Africa, Iran, Although the Muslim population in ������� Afghanistan� and even to Central Asian Europe is very small, the high purchasing � countries such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, power and the fact that Halal foods are and Armenia. not merely to be sold to the Muslims, � Being a trading centre, Dubai traders are well-informed of the regulations European countries������� have become � ������� ������� and opportunities in those markets. attractive markets for Halal food ������� � ������� For the whole of GCC countries, manufacturers from around the world. � the total import of processed poultry Demand for Halal food is rising in � meat products during the period of many EU countries. In the Netherlands ���� ���� ���� ���� ���� 1999 to 2003 is depicted in Figure 4. for example, a report by United States’ ������������������������������ ����������������������� Turkey, standing between the Department of Agriculture stated that Middle-East and Europe, offers a unique non-Muslim Dutch consumers have ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� potential for Halal food exporters. The shown interest in Halal food where the demand of Halal food in the country is total demand is estimated to reach rising, the awareness of Halal is increasing approximately US$ 2.8 billion annually. and the country strategically located With an increasing consumer concern ����������������������������������������������������������������� to be a stepping stone to penetrate over food safety, Dutch consumers, as much larger European Union countries. in other EU countries, perceive Halal, Moreover, there are large Turkish as well as kosher foods, as������� “safe”, due populations living in EU countries, to its purity and wholesomeness. especially in Germany and France. ������ In most European countries, there is ����������� �������� and In North Africa, Egypt appears to be a trend towards smaller households ��������� the most promising market. The country a larger number of working women in imports a large amount of beef from Brazil, the household. This has contributed to �������� USA and the EU. As the regulation and shifting of formal family meals. Consumers ��������� ����� import procedures in Egypt are rather living alone or in two-person households ����� complex, many food companies������ found are more likely to purchase ready-to�������� ��������� that it�������� is����� easiest to penetrate through reheat foods, or convenience foods. ��������� reverse investment strategy. This is exactly Increase ����� in the ownership of microwaves ����� to the what is being adopted by Kuwait-based and freezers has also contributed �������� Americana group, which is among the rise in sales of ready meals��������� and pretop manufacturers and brands in the cooked or microwaveable products. Middle East. Its subsidiary in Egypt, Cairo It appears that more European ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������������������������� Poultry, has become the largest integrated researchers are becoming more


with a Personal Touch



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Official Travel Agent WORLD HALAL FORUM 2007







For details contact:



(KKKP No. 2477) (Co. No. 106013-M)



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I N D A L U C I A T O U R S & T RAVEL SDN BHD Ground Floor, Wisma Ism a z u r i No. 38, Jalan 4/76C, Desa Pa n d a n 55100 Kuala Lumpur, MAL AY S I A t : +6 03 9287 9688 f: +6 03 9282 3188 e: m THE HALAL JOURNAL

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attracted to the field of Halal food, its market and consumption. According to research conducted by Dr. Florence Bergeaud-Blackler, a sociologist from Universite de la Mediterranee (France) and Karijn Bonne from Hogeschool Gent (Belgium), they have found that Halal food products are becoming easily accessible but the products typically have limited information in the product’s labels. As with the case in the Netherlands, research by Dr. Florence also found that many Muslim consumers, especially those who are educated with good-paying jobs and eats Halal not just because of religious reasons, consider Halal foods to have numerous advantages, including better taste, better hygienic qualities, healthier and even promotes animal welfare. Leading Halal food manufacturers in Europe includes Tahira Foods (United Kingdom), Mecca Food (Germany), Isla Delice (France), Halaland (France) as well as several others. The main problem with availability of Halal food products in Europe is that the products are too fragmented by location. Hence, we may not find the same products in many hypermarkets throughout Europe.

chairman of Midamar Corporation, his company exports Halal food products, including ingredients to Middle East and even to Malaysia, in addition to domestic sales. Other leading manufacturers in the US include Halal Price and Dakota Premium Food. The leading Halal certification body in the US is the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America, or IFANCA, which plays a crucial role in regulating and monitoring Halal procedures and certification, not only in the US but also for their subsidiaries in Asia and Europe. IFANCA also actively promote and educate the public on the benefits of consuming Halal food products. In Canada, although the numbers of Muslims are less than half a million, there is ample supply of Halal food products. The output

and understanding of about 300,000 Muslims living in Australia. During 2002, out of the AUD$ 26 billion total Australian food exports, exports to Muslim countries were worth about AUD$ 3.7 billion. This was projected to rise up to AUD$ 4.5 billion in 2005. Of this amount, more than AUD$ 1 billion consists of dairy products, with the rest consisting mainly of beef and lamb/mutton. Australia has been a traditional supplier of beef and lamb/mutton to many Asian countries, especially to Indonesia. In general, there are 14 Halal certification agencies in Australia. Some of the largest are the Australian Federation of Islamic Council (AFIC), Islamic Coordinating Council of Australia (ICCA), Australian Halal Food Service (AHFS) and the Halal Certification

DURING 2002, OUT OF THE AUD$ 26 BILLION TOTAL AUSTRALIAN FOOD EXPORTS, EXPORTS TO MUSLIM COUNTRIES ARE WORTH ABOUT AUD$ 3.7 BILLION. THIS WAS PROJECTED TO RISE UP TO AUD$ 4.5 BILLION IN 2005. Some manufacturers also claim that their products can be found easily in the leading hypermarkets in EU countries, such as France. However, recent visits to numerous supermarkets and hypermarkets in EU countries (Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France), have found that this is not the case. Many Halal food products can only be found in small shops where the Muslim concentration is large. Therefore, there are good reasons to partner with leading hypermarkets such as Carrefour and Tesco to promote Halal food products in a more systematic manner in Europe.

of these manufacturers is sufficient for export, as in the case of Al-Safa, which is a leading Canadian Halal food manufacturer. Other Canadian producers include Tri-Pet Holdings, Better Beef, Viandes Giroux and Delft Blue. One of the largest meat manufacturers in Canada, Maple Lodge Farms, has already produced a Halal food range of products to cater for consumers in Canada and the overseas market.


In the United States, many Halal food products are gaining popularity at grocery stores and restaurants. According to the Wall Street Journal, the sales of Halal meat have increased by about 70 per cent between 1993 and 1998, and this will continue to rise. Many US large food processors such as ConAgra, Tyson, Purdue Farms and Oscar Mayer manufacture Halal products solely for the (Muslim) export markets. According to research by Donna Berry (in an article published in Dairy World), Muslims are growing three times faster than other minorities in the US. Out of these, about 77 per cent consist of immigrants while the rest are US-born. One of the leading Halal food manufacturers in the US is Midamar Corporation. According to Bill Aossey,


Australia is one of the major food exporters in the world. The country has the highest status of disease-free from any illnesses accorded by the OIE. The ‘green’ and ‘safe’ image of Australia has enabled the country to export Halal food products to more than 70 countries around the world. Australian-based food manufacturers have been able to develop new export markets by taking advantage of the knowledge

Authority Australia (HCAA). Some of the leading exportoriented Halal meat manufacturers in Australia include Comgroup Supplies, Fletcher International, Geraldton Meat Exports, Longford Meat Co, Stanbroke Beef and Western Australia Meat Marketing Cooperatie (WAMCO International). Australia has recently signed an MoU with the Malaysian government to collaborate in penetrating the global Halal food market. A joint venture company between Comgroup Supplies (Australia) and Prima Agri Products Sdn Bhd (Malaysia) has been formed in 2006. Recently, several other Australian companies have also signed an MoU with the government of Brunei Darussalam with a similar objective. It is a logical step taken by Australia to leverage their disease-free, safe hj and green image and status.


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An Interview with Tan Sri Dr. Yusof Basiron,

Chief Executive Officer, Malaysian Palm Oil Council

Considering that almost all foods, (and non foods), have fats in them, the potential of palm oil is truly immense. Be it the creamer you add to your coffee, or the chocolate truffle you just ate, or the ice creams, the sherbets and the yoghurts, or even the soap that you used this morning; the applications for palm oil are almost limitless. And its Halal too. So why is it not being marketed as Halal? 34 THE HALAL JOURNAL

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ith its varied applications and benefits, it is no wonder that the golden oil is also called “the darling of the global food industry”. The fact that palm oil is highly versatile and functional makes it the best Halal raw material there is, which also fulfills other ‘feel good’ factors, including clean, natural, sustainable, nutritious and healthy, not to mention environmentallyfriendly, and most importantly Halal. Despite its impressive traits however, palm oil has never been promoted as a viable source of Halal oils and fats. The reason behind this, according to the chief executive officer of Malaysian Palm Oil Council, Tan Sri Dr. Yusof Basiron, is that many Muslim countries, despite facing a chronic shortage of oils and fats themselves, have failed to see beyond their established trading partners to other Muslim countries. Many in turn have not woken up to the true potential of palm oil - a Halal raw material, whose supply by the way, is dominated by two other Muslim countries – Malaysia and Indonesia. “If only they start to question “why not”, I’m sure many will realise the answer,” he said. Read our exclusive interview with the straight-shooter who will repackage the golden oil and make it even more Halal and mainstream, starting with Muslim countries.

WHAT IS YOUR INTERPRETATION OF HALAL AND HOW CAN PALM OIL FIT IN? “I think Halal is a responsibility, not just an opportunity. It is a responsibility for Muslim countries to protect their population, making sure that their Muslim population have full food security, especially in terms of Halal compliance. Just like the US trying to protect their population from the damage of trans fatty acid by making mandatory labelling and so on. Similarly, Muslim countries must also take concrete steps to ensure that all ingredients, including oils and fats, must be Halal in nature, and palm oil is a good source for Halal raw materials.” “Now with a larger segment of the world population growing more conscious of kosher and Halal products, palm oil is the best and “safe” raw material for meeting these requirements. The idea that palm oil is Halal is also very well-known, directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously. It has nothing to do with

“...if the consumers, especially in the developed countries put up a very strong demand for Halal; just like the Jews put up a very strong demand for kosher-based products, then obviously, a lot more manufacturers, be it Muslims or non Muslims, will try to comply and meet this demand opportunity, as it is to their advantage.”

improperly slaughtered animals or non-Halal raw materials; just high quality food oil that’s coming from healthy plants. As a matter of fact, palm oil is already being used in many Muslim countries especially in the Middle East as they never used lard or other animal fats right from the beginning. And they already knew that palm oil is the one oil that can fulfil all their needs. Obviously palm oil has a lot of Halal advantages.” SURELY THIS SCENARIO CAN FURTHER BE IMPROVED UPON. WHAT SHOULD MPOC DO? “Actually, what we have not done before is to glaringly announce that we are Halal, because palm oil is already understood to be Halal and many are already using it knowingly as a Halal source. In the past, we did not see the need to educate people on the “Halalness” of palm oil, probably because the Halal food industry in many Muslim countries have already made palm oil as their preferred choice, not only because it’s Halal and safe, but also because of its nutritional properties. However, many food producers in non-Muslim countries may not be fully aware, may be because they are not fully educated about the potential of Halal food in terms of market size, volume and opportunities.

So, there maybe a potential to promote to them and let them see the opportunities within the Halal food industry, especially when they use palm oil as an ingredient in their food preparations.” HOW DO YOU PLAN TO DO THAT? “Even at this stage, we are aggressively promoting the potential of Halal in palm oil. Once this is promoted even more prominently, surely the demand for palm oil from Halal angle will be even bigger. We definitely need to do a lot more in terms of promotions, but this will be forthcoming if the demand for Halal food is made even more pronounced, just like the demand for environmentallyfriendly products are being made more pronounced, not by the producers, but by the consumers who insisted that the products are environmentallyfriendly and sustainable. “Similarly, if the consumers, especially in the developed countries, put up a very strong demand for Halal; just like the Jews put up a very strong demand for kosher-based products, then obviously, a lot more manufacturers, be it Muslims or non Muslims, will try to comply and meet this demand opportunity, as it is to their advantage. But it THE HALAL JOURNAL

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really depends on the Muslim world, first and foremost, to insist and demand that products, as best as possible, should be Halal-based.” SO IT’S ACTUALLY UP TO THE MUSLIM COUNTRIES TO ADOPT? “See, Malaysia and Indonesia are the two world’s largest sources of Halal food ingredients in the form of palm oil. Both of these Muslim countries are able to feed the needs of other Muslim countries, 42 or 43 of them, who are actually facing a chronic shortage of oils and fats themselves. So, why don’t they turn to us for the supply of oils and fats that also happens to be Halal compliant in the first place? Why not look at us as a favoured source, rather than to Argentina, Brazil or even the US for their soya beans, however good their relationship is with them? Why not look at Malaysia and Indonesia as Muslim brother countries for the supply of safe and Halal raw material for their foods, which is also more cost competitive and environmentfriendly? It’s not that they don’t know. All we want is for them to have a different mindset in the future. Why keep on buying from traditional markets that they have for so long depended upon? If only they start to question “why not”, I’m sure many will realise the answer.” DO YOU THINK A FREE TRADE AGREEMENT WITH OTHER MUSLIM COUNTRIES WOULD HELP THE CAUSE? “As it is, palm oil is doing very well within the OIC markets. But of course we can do better, if we have in place a good trade agreement that will facilitate trade, including that for palm oil. So striking an FTA with OIC member nations, as far as promoting palm oil is concerned, is very good because it will remove any trade barriers for palm oil. But apart from very few countries, trade barriers among Muslim countries is not all that high at

“Palm oil has already made an impact for trans fat free food applications even before the new labelling requirements. With the new regulation to label trans fats contents, this is seen as promoting food processors to switch to palm oil as an alternative raw material to avoid the trans fats content in foods that they produce.”

the moment. OIC meanwhile, have been playing a big role by providing soft loans to Muslim countries to buy palm oil in the past, so they are already supportive. Palm oil is already an approved commodity for OIC and the Islamic Development Bank can encourage this more.” WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY TO THE DETRACTORS BENT ON DISCREDITING PALM OIL? “We have always approached things based on facts and figures and we have done enough studies to claim that palm oil is as good as olive oil, canola or rapeseed oil. Of course, there is a strong oil industry in the US that uses all kinds of tactics, including dishonourable ones, to try and discredit palm oil and strike fear into consumers. These NGOs have continuously linked us to forest destruction and habitat loss, and things like that. We don’t envy them as they have to defend themselves from loss of market share, but if you look at the statistics, whatever we have done in the last sixteen years is all about switching from rubber, coconut or rice to palm oil. There is nothing to do with habitat loss or destruction, and that’s how ignorant these people are. These NGOs are in reality, very short-sighted and focused on destroying a good economy like what we have developed out of palm oil.” HOW SIGNIFICANT IS THE NEW U.S. LABELLING REQUIREMENT (FOR LISTING OF TRANS FATS) FOR THE INDUSTRY? “Palm oil has already made an impact for trans fat-free food

applications even before the new labelling requirements. With the new regulation to label trans fats contents, this is seen as promoting food processors to switch to palm oil as an alternative raw material to avoid the trans fats content in foods that they produce. So obviously this is a major factor that will contribute to an increased demand for palm oil especially in the US, which is a market of at least 700,000 tonnes, and this is expected to continue increasing at a rate of 100,000 tonnes, or even more, per year. Malaysia could readily fill this demand as we are already the major supplier for quality palm oil for the world market.” WHAT ABOUT THE PROSPECTS OF BIODIESEL FOR PALM OIL? “Palm oil has a major role in biodiesel because it helps to remove excess supply of palm oil from the market and simultaneously help prop up the price for palm oil. That is why we are having our own National Biofuel Policy in various initiatives and acts, to be passed in Parliament soon, to build the biofuel industry and at the same time, help the palm oil industry in terms of price maintenance. With the policy, palm oil price will not collapse like in the past due to oversupply because any amount of oversupply can always be burnt and used as biofuel. However, when palm oil becomes more expensive compared to petroleum, then it is no longer viable. “In other words, from now on, the palm oil prices will be latched on, or directly correlated, with the world’s petroleum price. Because of our means to quickly convert excess supply to biodiesel, the palm oil price will no longer be dependent on the food industry as in the past, especially with palm oil purchases by India and China. That also means that there will likely be no real oversupply of palm oil in the future and that the future prices of palm oil will not come down. It’s essentially a price stabilisation scheme, just like we had with rubber. This is actually the reality. We can achieve both the environmental benefit as well as commercial benefit through this scheme. hj


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Food Security for the Muslim World










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Food Security for the Muslim World

Hunger plagues large sectors of the global population, in particular, the poor in developing countries. Although there are large surpluses of food in some countries, hundreds of millions of people in other countries still face a struggle for their daily bread.


he World Food Summit of 1996 noted that the number of undernourished people, estimated at 854 million in 1995, will rise to 915 million within two decades if no action is taken to turn the tide. The Summit thus set a target to halve the number, to about 400 million by 2015 (Stryker and Salinger, 1998). Food scarcity may occur as a result of natural (flood, drought) or man-made (political strife, war) disasters that wipe out entire crops, or because of economic factors such as poverty or breakdowns in the food supply and delivery chain. Berg and Bigman (1993) refer to food security as the availability of enough food in order to sustain life and the good health of the world population at all times, across all countries and regions, across all income groups, and across all members of individual households. Food security policies take on both economic and political dimensions and involve three categories - getting prices right, optimal storage and supply enhancement (Berg and Bigman, 1993). Food insecurity is more typical of developing countries, since developed countries often have in place the requisite mechanisms for food production, storage and distribution. Developing countries may lack one or more of these. The problem could be more acute for countries that are unable to produce sufficient food to meet domestic requirements and thus have to depend on imports. Many Muslim countries, for example, face problems of inadequate food production, insufficient food supplies and inefficient food delivery systems. They currently depend on substantial food imports. However, overreliance on imports poses a major drain on the national economy, while exposing countries to food insecurity risks. OILS AND FATS AS ESSENTIAL FOOD COMPONENTS Oils and fats are an important part of the human diet and act as calorie-dense components. Each

gram of oils and fats provides 9 kilocalorie (kcal) of energy, compared to 4kcal/gram from carbohydrates and proteins. A greater part of human existence has dedicated time to the search for adequate food energy sources. Oils and fats have been a prized component of the human diet (Stauffer, 1996) and have therefore played an important part in ensuring a secure supply of energy. Besides acting as an energy source, oils and fats also play several other important physiological roles, which include: • as a basic component of all biological membranes, together with proteins; • in enhancing the taste and palatability of food; • as a source of essential fatty acids; and • as a carrier of fatsoluble vitamins (vitamin A, D, E and K) The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that 30% of the energy (calorie) requirements of an individual should be obtained from oils and fats. This works out to a per capita consumption of about 20-24kg of oils and fats per year. However, this has not been realised among most of the world population, mainly due to unavailability and affordability. Thus, food security in oils and fats has to be classified as a crucial issue.

GLOBAL OILS AND FATS SCENARIO A total of 150 million tonnes of oils and fats were produced in 2006, compared to 140.11 million tonnes in 2004. These figures refer to production of the 17 major oils and fats, comprising vegetable oils (i.e. soybean oil, cottonseed oil, groundnut oil, sunflower oil, mustard/rapeseed oil, sesame oil, corn oil, olive oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, linseed oil and castor oil), and animal fats/oil (butter, lard, tallow and grease, and fish oil). However, the big four are palm, soybean, rapeseed and sunflower oils, which together account for more than 60% of world oils and fats production. In 2006, soybean oil production (35.2 million tonnes) was on par with palm oil production (36.8 million tonnes) - for the first time - with 24% of production share each (Table 1). Rapeseed oil at 18.34 million tonnes and sunflower oil at 11.09 million tonnes occupied third and fourth place respectively. A total of 56 million tonnes of oils and fats entered global trade in 2006, of which palm oil accounted for 29.02 million tonnes (51%) and soybean oil for 10.31 million tonnes (18%). The international oils and fats trade is influenced by the demand-supply balance of the major oils which, in turn, determines the price differentials between competing oils.


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TABLE 1: GLOBAL PRODUCTION AND TRADE IN MAJOR OILS AND FATS, 2005 Prices were generally low in 2000 as there was a surplus in the global supply of oils and fats. However, prices started increasing at the end of 2001 due to increasing demand in the food sector especially from growing Asian markets like China and India. The outlook in this sector is favourable for palm oil because of slower production of competing products, like sunflower and rapeseed oils. The non-food sector has added to demand because of the global search for an alternative fuel - bio-diesel which is also environmentfriendly - in view of escalating crude oil prices. Rapeseed oil prices have also been rising due to EU bio-diesel demand and will go up further because the region’s current crushing capacity is not able to satisfy market needs. Palm oil and soybean oil prices are expected to strengthen as well. The world balance for the 17 major oils and fats is shown in Table 2. The countries listed are either major producers/exporters or importers of oils and fats. With the exception of major producers such as the USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Malaysia and Indonesia, almost all the others are net importers. Of the Muslim countries listed, only Malaysia and Indonesia are net exporters. Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, North African countries, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are all net importers of oils and fats. The oils and fats scenario in the Muslim world is illustrated in Table 3. Total production in 2005 was 39.89 million tonnes, of which the bulk was in Malaysia (16.92 million tonnes) and Indonesia (16.26 million tonnes). Several of the countries produced more than 1 million tonnes of oils and fats, i.e. Pakistan (1.63 million tonnes), Nigeria (1.4 million tonnes) and Turkey (1.19 million tonnes). Iran, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Morocco, Cameroon, Egypt and Bangladesh respectively produced between 150,000 and 300,000 tonnes. In comparing total production (39.89 million tonnes) and disappearance (23.86 million tonnes) of oils and fats, it would appear that Muslim countries are self-sufficient. However, only Malaysia and Indonesia are surplus producers. The other countries are certainly deficient in oils and fats as Table 3 illustrates. The general chronic shortage of oils and fats can be attributed to the need to allocate available arable land for production of staple food crops such as cereals. Muslim countries may endeavour to intensify indigenous oilseeds cultivation in order to produce sufficient vegetable oils, but this would require a review of agricultural programmes to fully optimise land resources, technical capabilities and financial means to put reforms in place. Even this may not be a viable option for countries with limited arable land, where the priority is for food crops. Technological advances in the agricultural sector and use of modern tools of biotechnology that produce hardier and higher yielding crops may help overcome some of the inherent problems faced in traditional agricultural practices. Muslim countries may endeavour to intensify indigenous oilseeds cultivation in order to produce sufficient vegetable oils, but this would



require a review of agricultural programmes to fully optimise land resources, technical capabilities and financial means to put reforms in place. It must be noted, though, that the cost of producing oils and fats domestically may be so high that it may be cheaper to rely on imports. While this may increase risk of food insecurity, it would fulfil the aim of providing oils and fats to the populace at a reasonable price. This would satisfy one of the categories highlighted by Berck and Bigman (1993) - to get the price right. A balanced import policy would attain optimal trade-off between achieving food security and

managing food shortage: (i) There should be trade balance to ensure longterm commitment and interest to both partners. (ii) A mechanism is required to ensure that uncontrolled imports do not jeopardise domestic production, but provide a viable option to stabilise local prices. (iii) Food imports should not develop into a chronic dependency where these become a “weapon” that can be used against the importing country. Trading with friendly countries that share common needs would minimise such cases. In this respect, trade among Muslim countries


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should be promoted. Market access issues such as discriminatory import duties, quotas and other non-tariff measures continue to be an important consideration. To promote trade, countries should attempt to put in place non-discriminatory duties and fair trade practices that would make products from Muslim countries competitive visà-vis products from other countries. Various financing tools are available to exporters and importers, such as those offered by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), with the objective of promoting exports from member countries through short- and long-term financing. Greater promotion of intra-trade between the Muslim countries would contribute towards food security in oils and fats. THE PALM OIL OPTION A major trend that has evolved over the last two decades is the increasing contribution of palm oil and palm kernel oil to trade in oils and fats. Malaysia and Indonesia, with about 45% and 41% share of global palm oil production respectively (Table 4), are the leading producers. They jointly accounted for almost 90% of global palm oil exports in 2005. Malaysian palm oil and related products are now exported to more than 150 countries, with key destinations shown in Table 5. It is heartening to note that these include Muslim countries like Bangladesh, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE and Yemen. Palm oil accounted for 57% of total oils and fats imported by Muslim countries (Table 5) in 2005. Three factors determine choice - application, suitability for such use and price. Palm oil offers an attractive option as it is versatile and cost effective. Its acceptance worldwide is due to unique properties that encourage its use in a wide range of end products. These properties are made more versatile by various fractions and refined forms of palm oil. Refined palm olein (the liquid fraction of palm oil) is currently the major export from Malaysia. Refined palm oil and refined palm stearin (the harder fraction of palm oil) are also available for various food uses. The four main traditional food uses of palm oil are in cooking/frying oil, shortenings, margarines and confectionery fats. Palm oil is popularly used in both solid fat products, such as vegetable ghee, as well as in the liquid cooking oil sector, particularly in industrial frying applications. It offers several technical characteristics desirable in food applications, such as resistance to oxidation, which contributes towards longer shelf-life of end products. Palm oil is ideally suited for use as an ingredient in shortenings and margarines as it has 20-22% solid fat content (SFC) at 20°C, which helps in the formulation of fat products with a plastic consistency. It tends to crystallise in small beta-prime crystals, a property desirable for some applications, particularly in table and industrial margarines. Palm oil also has other functional attributes that make it a valuable ingredient in food formulations. In many



applications, palm oil can be combined with its harder fractions, such as palm stearin, to produce products of the required consistency without hydrogenation. Common products made from palm oil and palm kernel oil, wholly or in blends with other oils, include frying and cooking oils, shortenings, vegetable ghee or vanaspati, margarines and spreads, confectionery and non-dairy products. Changing trends in lifestyles and demands for consumer products based on convenience and health

considerations have led to other areas of application for palm oil and its fractions. The Malaysian Palm Oil Board’s (MPOB) research and development (R&D) efforts have succeeded in formulating products to meet such demands, develop new niches, enter new markets and enhance palm oil competitiveness. New applications of palm oil in foods include its use in emulsion-based powdered and consumer foods such as pourable margarine, mayonnaise, soup-mixes, imitation cheese and microencapsulated palm


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oil. Exciting products from new processes such as red palm oil or red palm olein have been introduced as healthy cooking and salad oils. NON - FOOD APPLICATIONS Palm oil products also find wide applications in the non-food sector, especially in the production of soaps and detergents, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics and oleochemical products. Soap production is one of the most important applications of oils and fats, with tallow and coconut oil having been the traditional raw materials. Due to the similarity in their fatty acid composition, palm and palm kernel oil now offer good and competitive alternatives. Fatty acids derived from the splitting process can be used directly in products like candles and cosmetics and in rubber processing. Derivatives of fatty acid include fatty esters (the most important of which is fatty acid methyl ester), fatty alcohols, fatty amines and fatty amides. Fatty esters are used in various industries such as textiles, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and plastics. Although fatty alcohols have limited use, their derivatives - fatty sulphates, fatty alcohol ethoxylates and fatty alcohol ether sulphates - are used extensively in the production of washing and cleaning products. Fatty amines are mainly used in the detergent industry as softening agents, in the mining industry as anti-caking agent, as biocides, and in road building and other applications. An added advantage of using palm oil products in such applications is biodegradability, which contributes towards environmental protection. It is envisaged that, with growing interest in environmental sensitivity and the need for eco-friendly products, palm-based products will gain greater popularity.


HALAL PRODUCTS Palm oil offers the assurance of meeting the Halal requirement when used in both food and non-food products. In the preparation of industrial food products, animal fats such as tallow or chicken fats are often used. These products are imported by Muslim countries, but the Halal status of the fats is not easily ascertained. In non-Muslim countries, bread and other food items are often made using lard or non-Halal animal fats. Muslim consumers will have greater confidence in products when palm oil is used and labelled as the fat ingredient. CONCLUSION While many Muslim countries experience shortage in the supply of oils and fats, there is net availability of the commodity in the Muslim world. In particular, excess palm oil from Malaysia could meet the oils and fats requirements of Muslim countries and help reduce food insecurity. The availability of export-import financing tools from the IDB makes this an economically viable option. Palm oil and its fractions are practical and an attractive choice for importers and food manufacturers in Muslim countries due to

price competitiveness, yearround supply, diversity and versatility to suit various edible and non-edible applications. The benefits extend beyond direct financial savings from the lower prices of palm oil products. Countries importing palm oil are able to save on costly cultivation of oilseeds and can instead reserve land for the cultivation of essential food crops, thus ensuring food security in staple crops. Palm oil is as healthy as any other vegetable oil, while being fully Halal for use in both food and non-food products. Muslim countries should take advantage of the ready supply, as this will contribute to overall enhancement of their food security. Increased trade in palm oil will also enhance the well-being of the Muslim brotherhood.

REFERENCES • Berck, P and Bigman, D (1993). The multiple dimensions of the world food problem. In: Food Security and Food Inventories in Developing Countries (Berck, P and Bigman, D, eds.). CAB International, Wallingford, UK. • Mielke, T (2001). The world supply and demand of oils and fats in the current year and early prospects for the season 2001/2002. Paper presented at MPOB Programme Advisory Committee (PAC) Seminars, 5 April 2001, Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor. • Oil World Annual 2000, ISTA Mielke GmbH, Hamburg, Germany. • Ramli Abdullah (2001). Price scenario in 2000 and prospects in 2001. Palm Oil Developments 34. Malaysian Palm Oil Board (in press). • Stauffer, C E (1996). Fats and Oils, Egan Press, St Paul, Minnesota. • Stryker, J D and Metzel, J C (1998). Meeting the food summit target: The United States contribution. Agricultural Policy Project, Phase III. Research Report hj 1039. USAID Contract No. LAG-C-00-93-00052-00


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Malaysian Palm Oil Malaysian palm oil has co-existed well with 16 other oils and fats and other suppliers of palm oil. Palm oil is the dominant oil in the global oils and fats market. Since 1999 it has accounted for not less than 40% of exports of oils and fats and presently, palm oil has a 53 % share of the world export market.


alm oil is exported to more than 150 countries in the world, including a net exporter country like the United States which has been importing an increasing quantity of palm oil in recent years. In 2005, Malaysia’s exports of palm oil to the US expanded significantly from 349,136 MT in 2004 to 559,941 MT in 2005. This has made US our sixth largest importer, although in terms of volume, it is only equivalent to about one fifth of what we export to China or the EU. MALAYSIAN PALM OIL IN GLOBAL OILS & FATS SCENARIO IN 2005 The total oils and fats production for 2005 was estimated at 139.3 million MT, up by 7.1 million MT from 2004. World palm oil production is growing at a rate of 8.3% compared to world oils and fats at 4.5% and now accounts for 24% of the world’s total oils and fats production at par with soybean oil for the first time.

Malaysia and Indonesia are expected to remain the key players in the palm oil sector accounting for 28.5 million MT or 85% of the world’s palm oil production. Malaysia is able to contribute 10% of the global oils and fats through the utilization of only four million hectares of its land. The oil palm currently yields an average of 3.8 MT/hectare of oil per year, which is 2.5 times higher than rapeseed and about seven times much more than soybean crop. Thus, under the circumstances where agricultural land is limited, cultivation of oil palm would be the most obvious option

to meet the increasing growth in oils and fats demand. The mere 4.04 million hectares of planted oil palm in Malaysia, which corresponds to 1.75% of the world’s total 216 million hectares of oilseeds, is able to produce a whopping 11% of the global vegetable oils - significant when compared to its mere planting area! Palm oil’s contribution in the world trade has expanded in tandem with its growth in production. In 2005, palm oil accounted for 52% or 26.3 million MT of the total world oils and fats exports. Soybean oil is a distant second at 19%. In terms of the world market, both Malaysia


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1990 VOLUME (MIL MT) 11.01 16.09



GROWTH 1995-2005

13.6% 19.9%

2005 VOLUME (MIL MT) 33.42 33.4

24.0% 24.0%

8.3% 5.1%






and Indonesia continue to account for 90% of the world’s palm oil export trade. Palm oil and palm oil products being one of the major export earnings of Malaysia was valued at US$ 7.7 billion. Despite higher export volume, this was 6.2% lower than that of 2004, attributed to lower prices of palm oil products during 2005.

Source : Oil World, various issues.






14.96 13.80 33.42

44.8% 41.3% 100%

10.84 7.05 21.74

49.9% 32.4% 100%

GROWTH 2000-2005 6.66% 14.38% 8.98%

Source : Oil World, various issues.


1995 2.54

2000 3.37

2005* 4.04

YIELD (MT/HA) Fresh Fruit Bunches Oil

18.93 3.50

18.33 3.50

18.88 3.80

*preliminary Source : MPOB



1990 VOLUME (MIL MT) 8.42 3.29 23.72



GROWTH 1995-2005

35.5% 13.9%

2005 VOLUME (MIL MT) 26.36 9.76

52.0% 19.3%

9.63% 4.58%





Source : Oil World, various issues.

FIGURE 1 : MALAYSIA’S EXPORT TO MAJOR DESTINATIONS ������������������������������� ������������

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FIGURE 2 : CONSUMPTION OF OILS & FATS, 2005 ������������������������������


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THE DEMAND Palm oil demand was significantly increased by 10.6% to 33.17 million MT in 2005. In 2005, the total world oils and fats consumption was estimated at 137.9 million MT, an additional demand of nearly 7 million MT over 2004, reflecting a very strong growth of 5.3%. Over the same period, soybean oil use also has grown rapidly, up by 5.3% to 32.8 million MT. Both palm and soybean oils combined dominate almost 48% of global oil and fats consumption in 2005. Yield of Malaysia’s oil palm crop in 2006 is expected to be lower due to the lagged effects of lower rainfall in 2005. Malaysia’s palm oil production is expected at 15.1 – 15.2 million MT in 2006, a marginal increase of about 300,000 MT. The current high stocks are expected to be drawn down at least for the first quarter, and palm oil prices may respond to this seasonal decline and the magnitude of the 2006 palm oil production. The consumption of eight major oils during Oct/Sept 2005/06 is estimated by Oil World to increase by 6.44 million MT or 6.35% to 107.77 million MT. Generally the supplies are sufficient to meet the strong demand. Palm oil consumption can considerably increase by 3.2 million MT to 33.28 million MT in 2005/06, fuelled by higher demand from EU and China. EU-25 and China accounted for the bulk of the increase or 0.53 million MT and 0.65 million MT, respectively. EU-25’s demand for palm oil in 2006 is estimated at 4.33 million MT (3.80 million MT) while China at 4.33 million MT (3.68 million MT). Increase in EU-25 palm oil usage is driven by palm oil’s competitive price and additional demand of palm oil to be used in the non-food sector. The increase in China’s palm oil usage is attributed to the competitive palm oil price and a lower increase in their oils and fats production. On the usage of vegetable oils for biofuels, the price movement of mineral oil will be the key support factor for further increase of vegetable oils in the energy segment. The demand-supply gap of vegetable oils could be widened if the demand for biofuels and bioenergy turn stronger. And, if there is upward demand for vegetable oil, there would likelihood to benefit both palm oil and soybean oil. hj


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Palm Oil, the Healthy Choice All the palm-based foods we eat make for a hearty feast, but what about health? More than 160 biomedical and nutrition trials have focused on addressing the value of palm oil as wholesome and nutritious edible oil. “TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN RESEARCH ON PALM OIL AND ITS COMPONENTS HAS HELPED MAKE MAJOR INROADS INTO THE HEALTH ARENA. SUCCESSFUL LAUNCHING OF VITAMIN E AND RED PALM OIL TECHNOLOGIES HAVE ALREADY GIVEN PALM OIL A NICHE IN THE HEALTH SECTOR.” HEART 3D ILLUSTRATION BY DAVIDE BRUNELLI, WWW.MED-ARS.IT


tudies to understand the underlying nutritional effects of palm oil and its fractions are a global effort, with research at some of the world’s finest biomedical centers. The salient nutritional features of palm oil are engrained in its composition, having almost equal distribution of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Palm oil / olein when consumed as part of a recommended fat diet (~30% energy) has been shown to be effective in maintaining desirable plasma cholesterol and lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Palm olein (rich in oleic and palmitic acids 18:1) when compared with monounsaturated oils such as olive, rapeseed and Canola, which are rich in oleic acid and currently touted to be among the healthiest of the edible oils in the human diet, resulted in similar plasma and lipoprotein cholesterol values. This showed that in healthy normocholesterolemic humans, palm olein could be exchanged for monounsaturatedrich oils without adversely affecting plasma lipids and lipoprotein levels. The American Heart Association’s (AHA) Step-1 diet advocates equal balancing of the saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in a 30% fat energy diet. This primarily pursues the goal of reducing overall fat consumption and reducing lipidlipoprotein associated CHD risk factors. None of the current commercial oils and fats on their own are able to meet this specified fatty acid distribution. Incorporating palm oil / olein as a

major component in a blend with other liquid oils, including soybean oil, results in this AHA-advocated ratio of fatty acids. The patented benefits of such a palm-based food include improved LDL/HDLcholesterol ratio by beneficially increasing HDL-C significantly. SMART BALANCE, the registered trade mark of Great Foods of America Inc (GFA), is thus the product of this significant scientific observation that was patented and developed as a range of fat based products to improve one’s cholesterol ratio using the natural dietary approach with palm oil as a major component, along with appropriate liquid oils including soybean oil. Trans fatty acids (TFA) negatively impact the human plasma lipoprotein profile and have untoward implications for atherogenesis. TFAs deleteriously affect lipoproteins by increasing TC, LDL-C, lipoprotein Lp (a) and decreasing HDL-C relative to their cis isomers (8). This has raised the need to replace hydrogenated fats with natural

solid fats in a large number of food formulations. The nutritional efficacy of the solid fats replacing hydrogenated fats should be such that they do not adversely affect plasma lipids and other CHD risk factors. Direct comparison of TFA with palm oil (16:0-rich), suggest that TFAs increase TC and LDL-C and reduce HDL-C relative to palm oil. In an attempt to explain differences in plasma cholesterol levels between high trans and palm oil rich diets, cholesterol fractional synthesis rate (FSR) in humans was measured. FSR was increased by the high trans diet compared to the palm oil diet. In essence this clearly demonstrates that trans and saturated fatty acids exhibit differences in their cholesterolaemic responses, an observation that is critical for legislation that seeks separate nutritional labelling of trans from saturated fatty acids. The solid fat profile of palm oil makes it a natural contender to replace hydrogenated fats in solid-fat


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food formulations. The use of palm oil in such products could virtually eliminate their TFA content. In several studies the impact of TFA on the lipoprotein profile of humans appeared to be worse than that of saturates occurring in natural oils and fats. Technology-driven research on palm oil and its components has helped make major inroads into the health arena. Successful launching of vitamin E and red palm oil technologies have already given palm oil a niche in the health sector. Palm vitamin E tocotrienols are the current trendsetter in fat-soluble antioxidants. Among the many emerging claims for palm tocotrienols is its antioxidant effects, cholesterollowering properties and possible anti-cancer activities. Already available as supplements, don’t forget that the cooking oil you consume also contains these tocotrienols. The palm oil industry has developed the red palm oil technology – a process that retains the pro-vitamin A carotenoids in the oil. We then declared this as “Malaysia’s gift to the children of the world”, simply because its consumption can restore vision in children who are at risk of going blind due to vitamin A deficiency. Spearheaded by such research efforts, there exists a world-class compilation of this ability of red palm oil in combating vitamin A deficiency in malnourished populations. You can definitely look forward to more natural and healthy goodness emerging from the palm oil industry. Already, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) is working on technology that would result in the production of a series of water-soluble healthgiving antioxidants. Even at its infant stage this has already received international acclaim and is anticipated as a major nutritional product in the near future. These are all testimonials for the palm oil industry’s commitment to provide the best in food and nutrition, from palm oil, to its consumers worldwide. hj


Palm Olein the better choice At current market prices, olive oil commonly retails at five times that of palm olein. This being the case, why not make the more affordable choice - without compromising the health of your loved ones!


live oil has long been touted as the gold standard among edible oils. Its reputation is largely based on the lower incidence of heart disease among the Mediterranean population who have traditionally consumed olive oil as their main dietary fat. But another important monounsaturated dietary oil is palm olein - the liquid fraction of palm oil. Palm olein is the mainstay of the dietary oil consumed in many parts of Asia. Palm olein, which is available globally, contains 47 to 53 percent oleic acid, which is also found in olive oil and other monounsaturated oils. Several studies have shown that oleic acid has cholesterol-lowering properties equal to, or better than, those of polyunsaturates.1,2,3,4 FRYING FOOD WITH PALM OLEIN Palm olein , by virtue of its fatty acid composition and high content of vitamin E, is stable even at high temperatures. For frying food, nothing surpasses palm olein. It has a proven track record of stability during frying and hardly imparts any flavors of its own as it is a bland oil. Thus, it is little wonder that food manufacturers around the world use palm olein as the preferred frying fat medium for food. Moreover, foods prepared in palm olein are more stable against rancidity than with olive oil. RED PALM OLEIN AND VIRGIN OLIVE OIL: A SURPRISING COMPARISON Not many people know that both olive and palm are the only two commercial, edible oils derived from the flesh (mesocarp) of the fruit. Thus, it is not surprising that there are many similarities in the methods of oil extraction as well as in their composition. The olive, when processed under specific conditions, yields both virgin and extra virgin olive oil. Health food connoisseurs rate

these oils highly, listing not only the health benefits of the fatty acid composition of these varieties, but also their high content of natural antioxidants, including polyphenols. It is increasingly being acknowledged that the benefits of olive oil, especially of the “virgin” variety, may be due to the combination of all these factors. The palm fruit has refused to play second fiddle to the olive. The outcome of an innovative processing technology was the “red palm olein”, a direct competitor to the green variation of virgin olive oil. Red palm olein takes maximum advantage of nature’s generosity: the highest source of natural carotenoids in an edible oil, high content of vitamin E, including the special vitamin E tocotrienols, coenzyme Q and a phytosterol complex. A wealth of nutritional information has been generated demonstrating the superior benefits of red palm olein against cholesterol, coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis, as well as the possible anti-cancer effects of carotenoids. For malnourished populations, red palm olein is a source of pro-vitamin A carotenoids, which are proven to overcome vitamin A deficiency and the onset of night blindness in malnourished children. MAKE YOUR CHOICE As a consumer, the abovementioned facts must be considered before you make a choice. Palm olein has been found to be comparable to olive oil in terms of nutritional properties and is highly acclaimed product. For many consumers, product affordability is an important determinant. At current market prices, olive oil commonly retails at five times that of palm olein. This being the case, why not make the more affordable choice - without compromising the health of your loved ones!

REFERENCES 1. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 11, 383-390. 2. Sundram et al. (1995) J. Nutr. Biochem. 6, 179-187. 3. Choudhury et al. (1995) Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 61, 1043-1051. 4. Sundram et al. (1997) J. Nutr. 127, S514-S520.



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MM Vitaoils Sdn Bhd currently produces and markets over 20 brands of quality cooking oil, margarine, pastry margarine, shortening and vegetable ghee to domestic and international markets. We work in collaboration with Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and possess one of the biggest and best blending facilities and packaging lines in Malaysia. Our products are non-hydrogenated, free from Trans Fatty Acids and have each undergone stringent evaluation process to ensure superb taste, volume and texture while filling the niche for healthy edible oil formulations. We have a versatile packaging solution with sizes ranging from 10gm to 20 metric tonne available in various packing materials. Our commitment to quality and reliability has earned us the confidence of a wide clientele.

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n this emerging environment, the ultimate success of the Halal industry will depend heavily on the company’s management ability to integrate the components of the supply chain. The logistics service provider

plays a critical role in realising this integration for the Halal industry. The providers of transportation, warehousing and other logistic services involved in the collection, consolidation, storage, handling, reloading, track and tracing as well as controlling the movement and storage of Halal products represent a significant and fast growing part of the economy. Logistics, therefore, plays a key role in protecting the Halal status of any given product through proper transportation, storage and handling within the supply chain, until it reaches its final destination (Tieman, 2006). The aim of this article is to explore the opportunities of this sector in providing Halal logistics solutions. It should provide a better understanding of the roles of a logistics service provider and the requirements of this sector in meeting the demands of the Halal industry. Closer examination of the logistics sector shows that the supply of Halal logistics services and solutions is hardly able to meet the high demands from manufacturers and retailers. Evidence supports that this gap is the result of the logistics industry becoming increasingly focused on efficiency in logistics activities instead of focussing on value-adding to ensure Halal compliance throughout the supply chain. SEGMENTATION OF LOGISTICS SERVICE PROVIDERS Different from the manufacturer, trader or retailer, the logistics service provider does not become the owner of the goods. The logistics service provider can be differentiated based on two dimensions, namely: A provider that offers a specific service (e.g. storage of import shipments) or provides an end-to-end solution (e.g. distribution of fruit from farm to retail) A provider offers basic movement and storage activities (e.g. warehousing and transportation) or offers specialised and advanced value added activities (e.g. dedicated Halal cold room distribution centre or repackaging of Halal meat from Australia.) Figure 1 provides an overview of this segmentation. Please note however that some logistics service providers can fall under more than one category. The logistics service provider that offers basic activity based transportation and storage


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Source: Edited from Van Laarhoven (1997) and Persson (2001)

services is also called a basic logistics operator who supports companies in being more competitive by using their services, mainly by providing a cost and/or service advantage. However, the larger logistics companies in this category are slowly expanding their portfolio towards value adding and end-to-end solutions. The move towards value adding was done in Malaysia very successfully by the company Century Logistics. The logistics service provider that provides more end-to-end logistics storage and transportation activities is also called the third party logistics (3PL) solution provider. Many regional and international logistics service providers can be positioned into this category. Some

of these logistics service providers are so-called integrators that are able to provide intermodal transport under their own wing as they operate various modes of transport (like road, sea and air). Some examples are DHL, UPS and former TNT. The logistics service provider that provides specialised and advanced logistics services can be called value leaders, due to their ability to meet the specific needs of a client. An example of this would be a dedicated Halal beef cold room facility for repackaging, labelling and distribution of Halal meat within a country. A good example in Asia is IGLO/Haisan. Specialised and advanced logistics solutions, also known as fourth party THE HALAL JOURNAL

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Figure 2: Requirements of Logistics Service Provider logistics solution, is when the logistics service provider conducts the logistic processes and designs, then develops and ultimately controls the entire logistical concept. This can be characterised by a lean and mean conducting organisation with a specialised and advanced ICT to make the logistics and supply chain operations transparent and controllable. This is a new field, although some international logistics service providers claim to able to deliver this, but it’s still hardly seen in its pure form. The traditional basic logistics service provider is physical asset-based, whereas the more specialised and advanced solution and logistics service provider could even be non-physical asset-based, that is, not owning any actual trucks or warehouses. ROLE OF THE LOGISTICS SERVICE PROVIDER The logistics service provider normally comes into the picture when logistics is not the core competency of the manufacturer or retailer. However, an effective control of Halal logistics supply chains is more complex than traditional logistics operations and supply chains (Tieman, 2007). This implies that many industries do not have the resources available and operational performance to meet the specific requirements of a Halal supply chain (see Bolumole, 2001).

Logistics is not only a critical success factor but it also provides a competitive advantage for a manufacturer or retailer. Based on this, it is no surprise that many manufacturers or retailers would still prefer to retain some form of control of the Halal supply chain (Spear, 1997). For this, the manufacturers and retailers are not looking for a basic logistics operator, but rather a real partner that can provide specialised and advanced services and/ or complete end-to-end solutions. This would result in one of the following roles for the logistics service provider: Selective outsourcing of certain services to maintain control of processes (Value Leader in figure 1); or Strategic partnership with third party logistics service provider (Provide Complex 3PL Solutions in figure 1); or In-sourcing of 4PL Solution; the logistics service provider creates an in-house team to conduct the Halal supply chain (Provide 4PL Solution in figure 1). Herein lies the problem as many logistic service providers, especially local and regional players, are still providing basic activities

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and services. They thus have difficulty moving and meeting the requirements of the Halal industry as Value Leader and Provider of 3PL solutions, which is to provide ‘Logistics Excellence’ (see figure 2). Excellence in Halal Logistics means that in the end, the desired completely Halal level is achieved (Tieman, 2007).

Logistics Excellence therefore refers to the operational, ICT and conceptual skills of a logistics service provider to ensure a truly Halal compliant supply chain. Logistics Innovation entails both the skills of a composer of the Halal Supply Chain as well as the Conductor of a Halal compliant supply chain. To reach the level of Logistics Innovation, a company first needs to go through the phase of Logistics Excellence and embed these principles into its people and operations. Opportunities in Halal Logistics Solutions Evidence support that the Halal industry is growing enormously, not only for food products, but also non-food items such as pharmaceuticals and

cosmetics. There is increasing pressure to enhance the supply chain integrity both from the manufacturer and the retailer. This requires an active participation of the logistic service sector to become a trusted partner of the Halal industry and champion logistical excellence and innovation in distributing Halal products to the endconsumers worldwide. Opportunities in terms of market size are especially abundant in the Halal Solutions segment (e.g. 3PL and 4PL solutions), whereas the biggest growth for the coming years can be expected in Specialised and Advanced activities (e.g. Value Leader hj and 4PL Solutions). References: Bolumole, Y.A. (2001), The Supply Chain Role of Third-Party Logistics Providers, The International Journal of Logistics Management, Volume 12, Number 2 Laarhoven, P.J.M. van (1997), Distributielogistiek: kunst en vliegwerk, oratie, TU Eindhoven, 14 November, Eindhoven (in Dutch) Persson, G. And Virum, H. (2001), Growth Strategies for Logistics Service Providers: A Case Study, The International Journal of Logistics Management, Volume 12, Number 1 Spear, B. (1997), Logistics: Key to Corporate Strategy, Transportation and Distribution, May, pp. 69-72 Tieman, M (2006), From Halal to Haram, The Halal Journal, issue November-December 2006 Tieman, M (2007), Halal Logistics Orchestrating Model, The Halal Journal, issue January-February 2007


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IN CHINA, even the small can be BIG


he fact that China does matter is evident from its impact on the global economy. Since 2000, China’s contribution to global gross domestic product (GDP) growth (in terms of purchasing-powerparity) has been bigger than America’s, and more than half as big again as the combined contribution of India, Brazil and Russia, the three next largest emerging economies. China’s massive build-up of American Treasury bonds affects American interest rates and thus Americans’ willingness to spend. Its low-priced manufactures give Western consumers more buying power. Its thirst for energy has helped push oil prices to record highs. Its entry to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2001 has speeded up the opening of the world’s biggest market. A few years ago, it might not have mattered much to the West if China’s growth had faltered; today it would be catastrophic. China hopes to use the Olympics Games in Beijing in 2008 to mark its emergence on the world stage. For China, this will be about far more than sports. They will be hosting the biggest international event ever staged on its soil: a coming-out party of huge symbolic importance. The Beijing Olympic Games 2008 will mark China’s full rehabilitation after the bloody suppression of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Still, many would agree that there are plenty of things to fix at home. If China’s economy slumps, many feel that the country will be thrust into disarray amid social and political crises. But for now, China still holds the promises of a fast-growing economy, turning a surge of vengeful nationalism into an attempt to displace

American power in Asia and at the same time, challenge Japan. ISLAM IN CHINA Islam has a rich heritage in China. The religion has had a presence in the country since the Tang Dynasty when a companion of Prophet Muhammad, Sa’ad ibn Abi Waqqas, was sent as an official envoy to Emperor Gaozong in 650 BC. According to the CIA World Factbook, about 1 to 2 per cent of the total population in China are Muslims, while the US Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report shows that Muslims constitute about 1.5 per cent (or a population of 19,594,707) of the Chinese population. This percentage may appear small, but in China, even the smallest is big. In absolute terms, the various censuses suggest there are at least 30 million Muslims in

China, more than Malaysia’s Muslim population. Many thus see great opportunities in serving the Halal segment for China’s market. For example, Malaysia, a strong advocate of the AseanChina Free Trade Agreement, has often expressed its interest to expand Halal trade with China. The prospects seem bright, with the full free trade area on track to be completed by 2013. Since 1997, China has become a close partner of Asean+3 alliances. To date, Malaysia accounts for only 1.3 per cent of China’s total imports from the rest of the world, and there are opportunities to grow. Besides acting as an efficient and value-for-money gateway for China in the Asean region, Malaysia is leveraging on its position as the chairman of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) to develop itself as a credible



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3/12/07 12:51:44 AM

Halal Food in Focus

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ons, ibitor applicati h x e r fo ll a c st a L ay! contact us tod ues at the fair, Avoid long que -register online now! visitors can pre Please fax your reply to Ms Grace Tan at +65 6294 8403.

Halal Journal Mar/Apr 2007

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Ms. Grace Tan Koelnmesse Pte Ltd Tel: +65 6296 0547 Fax: +65 6294 8403

country in focus into the Muslim market of the OIC world. Most of the Muslims in China are concentrated in the western region, where many Muslim-run restaurants can be found catering to both the general public as well as to Muslims. In most major cities in China, there are small Islamic restaurants or food stalls typically run by migrants from western China, which offer inexpensive noodle soup. Lamb and mutton dishes are more commonly available than in other Chinese restaurants, due to the greater prevalence of these meats in the cuisine of western China. CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERN As a result of increasing wealth, China’s food industry is thriving. Bustling restaurants, modern supermarkets, and glitzy hotel banquet rooms are mushrooming in the country’s prosperous coastal cities. But nothing is telling of China’s food market than changing food consumption patterns in China’s vast rural hinterland - home to over 60 per cent of China’s 1.3 billion population. In 2003, rural households in China grew much of the foods they eat and subsist on food expenditures that averaged just US$107 per person (or US 30 cents per day). While the value seems small, what is significant is that the last decade saw a slow but steady trend toward commercialisation in rural food markets. In US dollar terms, their inflation-adjusted cash expenditures on food increased more than 70 per cent from 1994 to 2003. The value of self-produced food consumed by rural people declined over the same period, and the cash share of rural food expenditures rose from 45 per cent to over 60 per cent. All these figures point to the fact that the revolution that has transformed China’s urban food market is beginning to spread into rural areas, as greater availability of cash income, more efficient markets, better communications, and improved transportation help bring rural people into the mainstream of the economy. Supermarkets and restaurants are opening in small towns and villages, and food product distributors are now including rural areas within their marketing plans. This is actually not a phenomenon exclusive to China alone. All across Asia, the value of food retail business is poised to grow due to strong economic growth and urbanisation. In fact, a new study by market research firm IGD in 2004 predicts that Asia will grow to achieve a 41 per cent slice of the global food retail market in 2020, a leap from 33 per cent in 2003. The global food retail market is currently valued at some US$3.5 trillion annually. EXPANDING IMPORTS China in particular, is expected to become the world’s second largest food retail market by 2020 after the US. In 2003, China’s food market was 35 per cent of the size of the US market; by 2020 this will figure will rise to a

FOOD MANUFACTURERS AND INGREDIENTS SUPPLIERS ARE ALSO TURNING TO THE “MIDDLE KINGDOM” TO BOLSTER ERODED MARGINS; AND TO KEEP UP WITH THEIR CUSTOMERS, THE MULTIPLE GLOBAL RETAILERS. considerable 82 per cent. This comes at a time when China is increasingly importing more foods. In 2004, China became a net importer of farm produce when it experienced an unprecedented deficit in agricultural trade. This is in stark contrast to the 1995-2003 periods when the nation saw an annual average agricultural trade surplus of US$4.3 billion. China’s major imports are grain, especially wheat and soybean. The nation imported most agricultural products from North America, with the US being its largest supplier. China’s deficit in agricultural trade is not surprising, given its increasingly lower tariffs for agricultural products following the WTO accession. At the same time, falling water tables, drying rivers and polluted water sources were taking its toll on the productivity of China’s fields, making it unlikely that domestic grain production could be increased by much. More importantly, farmland is being absorbed rapidly by the expansion of cities and industrial parks. It is estimated that the movement into cities by 10 million to

20 million Chinese each year, the vast expansion of industrial parkland, sprawling networks of roads and railways and other construction have reduced farmland by 6.7 million hectares since 1996 to a total of 123.4 million hectares last year. Such a shift in China’s agricultural trade has raised concerns at the highest level of government about the security of the food supply. Observers have warned of a looming food crisis in China. But to businesses at large, this is good news. This also explains why giant foreign retailers are continuing with their aggressive drive into China. Food manufacturers and ingredients suppliers are also turning to the “Middle Kingdom” to bolster eroded margins; and to keep up with their customers, the multiple global retailers. This means competition could only get more intense from here on. To crack the market and make more money out of it, smaller players with less established operations should consider carving themselves a niche segment. And that niche may very hj well be the Halal brand.


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fast track | ASIA

Food Safety Becoming a Global Concern The issue of food safety has become a global concern for both the developed and the developing world and the successful staging of an international food safety conference in Dubai recently is testament of this growing trepidation.

The delegates at the conference.

HELD ALONGSIDE Middle East’s largest food trade exhibition, Gulfood, the Dubai International Food Safety Conference received overwhelming response from the industry with over 400 delegates from 13 countries attending the event. Food safety specialists from around the world, including experts from UAE, Australia, France, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, the UK and the US gathered for three days to deliberate pertinent issues within the food supply chain. Among the topics that were discussed include Risk Assessment in light of Food Laws and Regulations, Risk Assessment and Food Laws – the EU Perspective, Managing Hazards in a Food Operation to Control the Risks in Retail Operations, HACCP for Retailers

(A UK Perspective), and HACCP Implementation in UAE (Benefits and Challenges). Safety and risk issues within other food-related segments were also discussed, with matters such as genetically-modified food; pesticides residue, as well as issues within food packaging, were also highlighted. Delegates were also presented with an in-depth look at vendor quality assurance as well as a risk management system which was presented by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority in Jordan. Dr. Ezzadine Boutrif, chief for the Food Quality and Standard Service, Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division, FAO also presented an interesting paper on food safety risk analysis from the perspective of the United

Nation’s Codex Alimentarius Commission, Rome. Another interesting presentation is on the assessment of artificial colouring intake by 4 to 14year old children in Kuwait, which was presented by Adnan Husain from the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research and Nutrition and Food Administration. “We are pleased to note that this year’s conference was the most international yet, because the issues surrounding food safety demonstrate the extent to which we are all globally inter-dependent,” said Helal Saaed Al Marri, Dubai World Trade Centre director general, who also delivered an opening address to the visiting delegates. “The best practices and standards discussed and

developed at the event will not only protect the health of the people, they will also ensure that we are taking a lead in the world market for exports and re-exports,” he added. In recent years, the issues of food safety have become more prevalent to a point of becoming a global threat. In the US for example, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that food-borne disease cause approximately 76 million illnesses every year, as well as 325,000 hospitalisation and 5,000 deaths. In Southeast Asia, approximately one million children under five years of age die each year from consuming contaminated food and water. While international trade has increased the diversity of available food and reduced prices through increased competition, it has also strengthened the need for agreed regional and international standards of food safety, according to some of the experts attending the conference. Reflecting UAE’s strong interest in this area, the first day of conference saw an opening presentation by His Excellency Eng. Hussein Bin Lootah, acting director general of the Dubai Municipality, with a keynote address on the Food Safety Strategy in Dubai by Khalid Mohamed Sharif, assistant director of Dubai’s Public Health Department and head of Food Control Section.


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3/12/07 12:40:34 AM

fast track | ASIA

File picture from the inaugural World Halal Forum 2006

World Halal Forum

to Develop Global Cooperation BY HARIZ KAMAL

DURING Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia’s official visit to the Kingdom of Thailand from 11-13 February 2007 at the invitation of H.E. General Surayud Chulanont, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand; the two Prime Ministers have expressed satisfaction with the progress and cooperation of Halal Science. They took note that a Memorandum of Understanding between Thailand’s Institute for Halal Food Standards of Thailand and Halal Science Center, Chulalongkorn University, and Malaysia’s Halal Industry Development Corporation and World Halal Forum, will be signed to further enhance bilateral cooperation in research on Halal products and services. The development of the Halal industry was enhanced with the signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Halal development recently. Malaysia and Thailand share many cultural and business ties as well as a common interest in developing the Halal industry. Malaysia has taken a strong leadership role and gained considerable profile globally in the Halal development with the establishment of the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC). The agreement will promote greater partnerships between the two countries and will enable the Halal to make a stronger presence in the global market. The MoU underlines developments in key areas including Capacity Development, Research and Science, and Halal Standards, as well as other Halal matters as assigned by both governments including IMT-GT, which specifically include the

Research will undertake and facilitate joint activities in the areas of research and development especially in the field of ‘Halal Science’ for the improvement of Halal products in order to be more acceptable in the global Halal market. Working Group on Halal Products and Services. The parties are to meet occasionally to discuss developments and issues facing the Halal industry in international events organised by both parties. The area of Capacity Development is expected to spearhead this development, including jointly developed business incubators and capacity development programs that are targeted towards the development of SMEs within the Halal industry, as well as to assist in the economic betterment of all people, especially Muslims in both countries. Research will be undertaken to facilitate joint activities especially in the areas of Halal science, to improve penetration rate of Halal products in the global mainstream market. Sharing of research information and findings will also be facilitated in part by the formation of a common research library and a database of pertinent information. This is expected to provide scientifically-proven and industry relevant solutions in line with the Shariah requirements.

The Halal Standards agreement will also focus on working towards a clearer definition of Halal and the establishment of a globally recognised Halal standards to ensure the prosperity of the global Halal industry. Local industries is also expected to have an increased access to the Muslim markets worldwide. Both parties will also work towards the creation of a single global Halal standard in which developments in the Halal industry can be measured. The agreement are just an instance of how the two countries are taking proper initiative to ensure the regional Halal market reaches its fullest potential with the Halal integrity well intact. Malaysia has made giant strides to establish itself as an international leader in the Halal industry and with international partnerships and commitment such as this, it is expected that more opportunities will open up for Halal developments. A clear indication of better developments in the future, this MoU should be a good basis for industry players to build regional business relationships and potential partnerships with their counterparts abroad that wil further augment the regional Halal industry.


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3/12/07 12:40:58 AM

fast track | AFRICA

Halal Foie Gras Anyone?

Halal fattened duck specialist La Maison du Foie Gras, acclaimed for its gastronomic products as well as meticulous production processes, was seen promoting its entire range of products at the recent Gulfood trade fair in Dubai. We just had to stop and ask. BY KAMARUL AZNAM KAMARUZAMAN

CASABLANCA-BASED La Maison du Foie Gras is upbeat that their range of products would appeal to many, especially affluent, quality conscious Muslim consumers the world over. Founded by an agronomy engineer who obtained his degrees in Toulouse, France, including a third cycle in foie gras, all the ducks for La Maison are reared and processed from its farm on the coast of Casablanca since 1989, with the open-air location and pleasant North African climate seemingly ideal for the rapid growth of its ducks. “Our products are for high-end consumers who need quality Halal products,” said Omar Naciri, La Maison du Foie Gras’ commercial director. “The ducklings are imported from France the very first day of birth, and grow strong and healthy in Casablanca’s fresh air and perfect climate. The seacoast provides an ideal base for their care and force-feeding through a diet based on exclusively corn, after

which they are slaughtered and processed,” Omar added. Their products are currently exported to many African and Middle East countries like Tunisia, Dubai, Jordan, Oman and Qatar. Aside from these markets, they are also targeting new partners in the Middle East such as the Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait. Omar added that although these countries do not ask for any Halal certification for their products, he assures that everything is in order. “All of our products pass through a strict quality control at each step of production, conforming to all the demands and norms of HACCP, to which the company certification process is based on. Concerning the Halal certification in Morocco, no company can proceed with producing non-Halal products in a Muslim country like ours (unless with special approval). Once we start our production, we were certified by the Ministry of Agriculture who checks all our processes.

It has to fit within the Halal procedures or we do not get our production approval,” he said. Omar added that all slaughter is done in the true Islamic way, using only a knife and prayers recited for each individual bird. The finished products are then delivered by refrigerated truck within Morocco and by air or

refrigerated container overseas. For longer duration shipments, the company is also capable of flash-freezing its products in such a way that would preserve all the taste and nutritional qualities. “We believe the Middle East represents a major market for our company, but we are also willing to expand our exports to Asia, especially Malaysia and Indonesia,” Omar added. The company currently distributes its Halal products to hotels, catering companies and restaurants. According to Omar, La Maison du Foie Gras can also adapt to the specific demands of the hotels or other customers and can even make special products on request. “Customers are more and more oriented toward quality, although price is also very important. Our production process is really focused on quality, and there are no short cuts to this. Although this is still a very niche market, we really believe in the future,” he added. The company offers more than a hundred products or items that are either fresh, frozen or preserved in different types of packaging, to satisfy the most demanding of palates. They will also be launching a variety of Terrine de Foie Gras, with fruits from Morocco including figs and oranges.

Foie gras (French for “fat liver”) is the liver of a duck or a goose that has been specially fattened by a technique called “gavage”, or the process of force-feeding of ducks or geese as defined by French law in order to fatten their livers for the production of foie gras. Gavage dates as far back as 2500 BC, when the ancient Egyptians began keeping birds for food and deliberately fattened the birds through force-feeding. Foie gras is one of the greatest delicacies in French cuisine and its flavour is described as rich, buttery, and delicate, unlike that of regular duck or goose liver. Foie gras can be sold whole, or prepared into pâté, mousse, or parfait, and is typically served as an accompaniment to another comestible, such as toast or steak. Today, France is by far the largest producer and consumer of foie gras, though it is produced and consumed worldwide, particularly in other European nations and the United States.


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3/12/07 12:41:17 AM

fast track | EUROPE

Danes look to recover post 2006 consumer boycott

In the aftermath of last year’s consumer boycott, Danish companies are going all out this year to mend trade ties and forge new partnerships, with a marked increase in Danish presence at the Gulfood trade show in Dubai recently.

WITH THE EFFECTS of trade boycott especially from the Middle East consumers still felt by many Danish companies, many are making a beeline to this year’s Gulfood trade fair in Dubai which ended recently, hoping to rebuild old partnerships and forge new ties. Figures from the Trade Council of Denmark showed export trade to Muslim countries dropped by 43 per cent as a result of the ban. This development in whole, is driven by a significant drop of 63 per cent in exports of dairy products and an even bigger drop of 72 per cent in exports for meat and meat products. “We went from 100 per cent to zero over a weekend,” said Nordex Food export director Erik Christensen. “We have gradually come back over the last year; and today we are back to around 80 per cent or 90 per cent of pre-boycott sales. We managed to hit 50 per cent somewhere in August or September (last year),” he added. Despite the improved figures however, sales have yet to recover in some markets, like in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. He pointed out that despite the animosity they received, Nordex were still exhibiting at last year’s Gulfood where they hope to build on the growth of the catering and industrial sector for its white cheese product. “It was OK. We have not had any problems

with our distributors. In fact, it was good to see them at that time so quickly after the boycott,” Christensen said. “I think we have a pretty good future in the region as the market is strong and people tend to forget (about the boycott),” he said. Another Danish exhibitor however was not so lucky. Quantum, manufacturer of feta cheese with Middle East being their single biggest market, had to resort to numerous tactics to improve sales, including changing their packaging and offering hefty discounts. “We tried to keep our contacts informed. There were a lot of rumours; (but) we tried to continuously update our contacts with the facts by including statements from our government. We couldn’t really affect consumers, to tell you the honest truth,” said Quantum’s Middle East head of sales Esben Nielsen. Nielsen added that the company tried lowering their prices, as well as using neutral packaging that did not have the word “Danish” on them. Although sales “picked up heavily” by October and have now nearly returned to pre-boycott levels, the company doubts they will ever use “that D word” anymore. “It was probably a blessing in disguise, because the market saw the difference in quality between what we were supplying and what they

tried to replace it with. Now, the market has realised there is a difference in quality, and we are seeing a high demand for our products,” he added. One of the hardest hit was Denmark-based Arla Foods, Europe’s largest dairy manufacturer. The company, whose annual sales in the Middle East amounted to some US$430 million, said its products had been pulled off the shelves all across Middle East and that the boycott has cost the company approximately US$ 68 million, after sales of their Danish butter, cheese and other dairy products stood at a standstill for one whole month. “This has been a tough time for everyone at Arla Foods involved in our Middle East business,” said their divisional director Finn Hansen. “Nevertheless, it’s a relief that the boycott of our dairy products has come to an end. The religious and culturally conditioned agenda has now been superseded by commercial pressures where we are facing stronger competition from other dairy companies,” he added. Arla aimed to recover at least 50 per cent of their Middle Eastern sales by year end, which was achieved when turnover reached 60 per cent by December, despite selling at a discounted price for their unsold stocks. Hansen expects Arla’s sales to rise in 2007 and by the end, it should reach pre-boycott levels. If successful, the boycott would have effectively pushed back Arla’s development in the Middle East by two years.


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3/12/07 12:42:19 AM

fast track | AMERICAS


Fast-food Giants Cater to Muslims

First, the new owner of a nearby Kentucky Fried Chicken began trying to lure shoppers from the heart of South Asian Devon Avenue. Then a Brown’s Chicken and Pasta popped up a few blocks away. BY NOREEN S. AHMED-ULLAH

IT SEEMED A STRANGE JUXTAPOSITION - all-American fast food, elbow-to-elbow with pungent cuisine from the other side of the globe. But the secret ingredient both outlets offered was Halal, the Islamic analogue of kosher, a promise that the meat has been slaughtered and prepared in accordance with Islamic teachings And that, in turn, has sparked a neighbourhood contest over whose fried chicken is truly Halal, or more Halal - a 21st century collision of American marketing, immigrant tastes and age-old customs. The fried chicken wars on Devon underscore the growing power of the Muslim market. In Muslim countries, fast food giants like McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, KFC and Burger King have

long served Halal meat and have become popular teen hangouts. In the West, chains are only now picking up on the Halal market. McDonald’s has two Halal franchises in Dearborn, Mich., one in Australia and is considering another in Britain. A Subway location in New Jersey adopted Halal about two years ago. Outback Steakhouse recently announced it offers Halal lamb from New Zealand. The Halal food business is currently an estimated $16

billion industry in the U.S. alone. “What you’re seeing is the impact of the second generation,” said Shahed Amanullah, founder of zabihah. com, a Web site that reviews restaurants serving Halal. “If you were born and raised here, your ethnic food is American food. ... This second generation is demanding Halal fried chicken, pizzas and Philly subs.” Their parents were buying traditional meat and spices, but 10-year-old twins Subhan


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fast track | AMERICAS

and Shan Islam and their sister, Ana Shoaib, 5, dragged the grownups into the Devon Avenue Brown’s earlier this month for chicken tenders and fries. “We come here because it’s zabihah and the kids like it,” said their mom, Gulshan Shoaib, speaking in Urdu. That may be music to the ears of Muslims who open Halal fast food chains, but the operators of KFC and Brown’s quickly learned that entering the market was not as easy as it looked. Afzal Lokhandwala opened a Halal KFC franchise in Lombard, Ill., three years ago, near a mosque and a large Muslim community. “From day one, it started,” he said. “People were coming in and saying, ‘This is not Halal. This is not hand-slaughtered. This is machine-slaughtered.’” In Islam, the term Halal applies to anything that is permitted. Most food and drink can be Halal, except for alcohol and pork. But there is no consensus on exactly what is Halal, and what is not, and American Muslims find themselves faced with a variety of interpretations. Chicken and beef can be Halal, but most Muslims believe it must be zabihah, or slaughtered according to Islamic ritual, said Abdul Malik Mujahid, chairman of the Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago. Zabihah calls for the animal to be blessed, then slaughtered, its throat cut and blood drained. But Muslims are divided about whether that can be reconciled with poultry plant practices of machineslaughter and stunning the animal before slaughter. Still others are satisfied with kosher products, believing the Jewish rites used are similar enough, or do not worry about zabihah at all, Mujahid said. Lokhandwala figured he was safe three years ago with

the Lombard shop, when he found that the poultry supplier KFC used also had Halal operations for meat it supplied to Singapore, which has a significant Muslim population. But almost immediately, people began questioning the authenticity of his Halal meat. An organisation called the Muslim Consumer Group questioned the coating ingredients and processing practices used by KFC and its supplier. Soon, a heated debate about Lokhandwala’s restaurant played out on the pages of, the Halal food reviewer. “According to Islamic law, we do not accept machine slaughter,” said Syed Rasheeduddin Ahmed, founder and president of the Muslim Consumer Group. Ahmed said he talked to the chicken supplier, Gold Kist, and learned that a Muslim mechanic said the blessing. “He just stands there and the machine slaughters 142 chickens per minute,” Ahmed said. “He can not say ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is Great) for each one.” Lokhandwala devoted his franchise’s web site to proving that his fried chicken was Halal. He published slaughtering guidelines from Malaysia, where national authorities accept machine slaughtering as Halal. Gold Kist says it has Halal certification from the Al Huda Islamic Center in Athens, GA. And business was good in Lombard, so Lokhandwala jumped at the opportunity last April to buy a KFC franchise located on Western Avenue, just north of the Devon shopping district. He partnered with the owner of a wellknown Pakistani restaurant on Devon, Sabri Nehari, which was destroyed in a fire in November. Meanwhile, the Usmania Group, which owns another popular chain of restaurants on Devon, had begun building

In Islam, the term Halal applies to anything that is permitted. Most food and drink can be Halal, except for alcohol and pork. But there is no consensus on exactly what is Halal, and what is not, and American Muslims find themselves faced with a variety of interpretations.

a Brown’s on Devon, which opened in August. “People are very orthodox in Chicago,” says Mohammad Yaqoob, one of the owners of the Brown’s on Devon. “They want to eat zabihah, not just Halal.” Brown’s, a local chain, allowed Yaqoob and his partners to find their own vendor for Halal meat. Brown’s President Frank Portillo and his daughter also researched the ins and outs of the Halal food industry. “In all honesty, I had never heard of Halal and zabihah chicken,” Portillo said. “The Muslim community is growing and they’re looking to eat American-type food. It’s just a real growth market.” To avoid the controversy surrounding KFC, the Brown’s partnership decided to meet the highest zabihah standards it could. They selected a Muslimowned processor certified by the Shari’ah Board of America, one of the most conservative certifying agencies. The chicken they bought was said to be grain-fed and handslaughtered. A sign outside Brown’s

announces that Muslims can be “100 percent” certain they are eating zabihah meat there, processed according to the strictest Islamic requirements. Another sign praises Allah, indicating the franchise is Muslim-owned. Inside, posters by the cashier detail the handling of the meat, how the chickens are fed and slaughtered. That’s one of the reasons Syed Ahmed, 25, eats here twice a week. Variety is another. “We get bored of rice and daal (lentil curry),” he said. A few blocks north, Mir Hussain, 55, on a trip to Chicago with his family from Warren, Ohio, sat down at the KFC with several buckets of the Colonel’s finest. He said he skipped traditional Indian restaurants on Devon because Ohio has no Halal KFC, and the family eats Indian food all the time. Also, Hussain said he has no problems with machine slaughtered meat. “In mass production, it’s very difficult to do it by hand,” he said. “When we see that it’s Halal, we have to trust that it is.” - Chicago Tribune


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3/12/07 12:42:50 AM

islamic finance Kuwait Finance House (KFH) recently published their first quarter 2007 outlook analysis on South East Asia and three countries got their positive approval – Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. We checked out their line of reasoning.



A typical scene on the streets of Vietnam. Further growth is expected as the country becomes a full-fledged member of WTO.


sia’s 2007 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is forecasted to grow at a rate of seven per cent year-on-year, higher than most developed economies (3.1%). Strong macro fundamentals, resilient exports underpinned by intra-regional trades and sustained private consumption helping to drive the growth momentum, are just some of the key highlights put forward by Kuwait Finance House in its first quarter forecast report published recently. Despite the erratic changes in global economic circumstances, the report said prospects for Asian economies in 2007 are expected to remain sound and poised to drive the global growth, with momentum expected to go into overdrive and the growth rates will dwarf those of developed countries. Although going up against a slowing global economic backdrop, Asian economies are expected to remain formidable and on the path to further sustainability in 2007, assisted by sound macro fundamentals and resilient Asian exports underpinned by buoyant intra-regional trade. “We forecast Asia’s 2007 GDP growth to come in at 7.0% year-on-year driven by sustained private consumption, higher public infrastructure spending and positive export growth,” the report said. “We remain committed to our bull case for Asia and the domestic reflation theme.” The KFH research team also noticed an improvement

in economic fundamentals in Asia. The prospect of surplus savings in the region over the next few years is also expected to attract even more funds inflow into the region when global investors reshuffle their portfolios early this year. It added that the continuing weakness of the US dollar will also prove to be a powerful driver for reflation in Asia. A weak US dollar will continue to drive more outsourcing from Europe and Japan to Asia, with OECD demand for Asian products expected to remain strong. It was noted that since the 1997 financial crisis, South East Asian economies have taken important steps at both national and regional levels to develop local financial markets. The objectives of these efforts include: to reduce the risks associated with excessive reliance on shortterm external financing, thereby mitigating the currency and maturity mismatch problem;

to provide an alternative vehicle for channelling domestic savings into productive investment and reducing dependence on bank lending; and to support economic and financial integration within East Asia. These efforts have started to bear fruit as SEA economies have begun to display buoyant growth numbers driving individual domestic demand and investments. “The case for a weaker US economy in 2007 and the potential drag this will have on Asian economies is, in our view, confined largely to the export market. Although the US stock market has a heavy influence on the Asian equity and bond markets, the force of money and local optimism could well see the region reasonably insulated from US equity events,” said the report. The reason why Asian bonds are expected to be insulated against the US equity markets, it explained, is because of the USD1.2


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3/12/07 12:38:25 AM


Positive Factors

Negative Factors

KFH Credit Review


• Sustained growth momentum • Private sector to drive growth with expansion in private investments, in line with 9MP projects • Strong Ringgit play • Accommodative monetary policy and subdued inflation

Decline in US economic growth could potentially choke exports



• Robust growth momentum • Positive private consumption underpinned by high overseas remittances • Infrastructure projects and continuous economic reforms to attract FDI inflows • Being a WTO member is expected to boost export sales

•Slowdown in US growth could potentially halt investments



• Improved fiscal and monetary environment • Lower interest rates will lead to higher domestic consumption and investment • Government commitment to infrastructure and development expenditure

• Lagging implementation of infrastructure development • Inflationary pressures may continue especially from crude oil and food prices



• Moderate growth momentum at the high-end of official forecast • Positive private consumption driving domestic growth • Robust services sector and recovery in construction industry

Over-dependent on exports (in Positive the event of drastic slowdown to the US economy)


• Sustained growth momentum • Recovery of tourism activities • Higher public spending on infrastructure projects

• Political risk remains in the run up to the general election in Oct 07 • Drastic slowdown in the US economy to negatively impact E&E exports • Negative geopolitics


• High overseas remittances to support private consumption as main growth driver • Tax reforms to increase government revenue • Strong government commitment to reduce fiscal deficit

• Drastic decline to the Neutral US economic growth • Speed of economic reform implementation • Political risk remains in the run up to May/June 07 mid-term elections


Source: Kuwait Finance House’ Asia Focus report


For 2007, the report forecasts Malaysia’s GDP growth to be a balanced 5.7% year-on-year (y-o-y), reflecting the thrusts of the 9th Malaysian Plan, growth in retail and private consumption and sustained investments. The underlying strategic thrusts of macroeconomic management for the domestic economy in 2007 are premised on a more dynamic and buoyant private sector supported by the enabling and conducive economic environment. The challenge moving forward will be for the economy to balance firm macro fundamentals against a weak global outlook. Nonetheless, possible adverse impact of external forces on the domestic economy cannot be ignored. They include volatility in crude oil prices, more-than expected slowdown in global economies, and excessive interest rate hikes prematurely halting growth momentum. It also noted that the implementation of 9th Malaysian Plan projects will be crucial in 2007 to rein positive growth numbers. At this juncture, the report maintains their 2007 full year GDP growth forecast of 5.7%, with constant development on both the domestic and external fronts.


Vietnam’s GDP growth rate for 2006 was close to 8.2%, higher than the official target of 8.0%, fuelled by surging private investment, strong export growth and robust domestic demand. This is the second consecutive year of more than 8% p.a. growth after the 8.4% growth in 2005. Going into 2007, the report predicts Vietnam’s economic growth to be sustained at around 8.5% as the country becomes a full-fledged member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). In addition, Vietnam was also accorded permanent normal trading relations (PNTR) by the US in December 2006. Whilst local industries may suffer following the removal of protective duties and trade barriers, Vietnam’s export oriented economy will benefit from the WTO membership. KFH remained bullish on Vietnam given firm macro fundamentals underpinned by the strong FDI flows and export figures and continued measures by the government to improve investment climate and efficiencies in the government machinery.


Growth in 2006 was off to a weak start as a result of falling purchasing power with the October 2005 fuel price hike combined with interest rate increases of 400 basis points (between August and December 2005). The Indonesian economy is estimated to grow at 5.5% y-o-y in 2006, buoyed mainly by government spending to overcome the slow first half. Despite the short term adverse impact on growth, these welcomed policy changes brought about positive trends - the exchange rate strengthened (rupiah appreciated by 7.2% in the first seven months of 2006), stock market reached new highs and the sovereign ratings were upgraded. KFH predicts that Indonesia’s economic growth in 2007 will be higher at 6% driven by private consumption and continued increase in government expenditure. This is on the back of rising confidence in the economy and the reducing interest rate regime.

trillion in excess liquidity in the commercial banks in Asia, excluding Japan and China. If China is included, excess liquidity immediately jumps to USD1.9 trillion and this does not include excess liquidity with the central bank. As such, “the structural fabric of Asian debt markets will weather any potential storm on the financial side”, added the report. 2007 will also see more mergers and acquisition in Asia, especially within the banking, telecommunications, plantations and power sectors. Infrastructure development will also remain a key theme throughout most of the year on the back of higher development expenditure supporting the reflationary economic sentiment. Higher retail and consumption spending supported by vast domestic liquidity will also continue to see the retail and consumer sentiment remain well-supported. The report nonetheless highlighted several key risks for Asia in 2007, which includes: (1) a drastic slowdown in global economies, especially in the US, will negatively impact Asia’s electrical and electronics exports. The US still accounts for Asia’s single largest export market and thus is Asia’s “Achilles’ Heel” (2) a renewed surge in global crude oil prices may reignite inflationary pressures, leading to further monetary tightening amidst slowing growth momentum, and (3) political risk, especially in Thailand and Philippines may deter foreign investment flows. The report does note, however, that this factor has already been priced into the premiums sought in these markets. It concluded that overall, Asia is still very much the place to be seen in this year. The positive growth in Japan as well as China’s ‘soft landing’ will also augur well for Asian economies, whilst sustaining demand for exports against any potential hj slowdown from the US.


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Islamic finance update

CIMB TARGETS HIGHER REVENUE FROM ISLAMIC BANKING PRODUCTS CIMB Group targets to increase revenue contribution from its Islamic banking consumer products to 20 per cent within the next three years. Group chief executive officer Datuk Nazir Razak said it plans to achieve the target by introducing more Syariah-based products in the market. Currently, the company has a total of 63 conventional banking products and eventually hopes to come up with an Islamic version for each of these products. “Revenue contribution from Islamic banking products is still small at the moment. (That’s because) we are still new in this business. “Going forward, we hope to introduce more of such products in the market. Hopefully, the availability of more of such products would contribute towards spurring demand for Islamic banking products,” he told reporters at the launch of CIMB’s Islamic All-Stars Global Restricted Mudharabah Structured Investment-i (Islamic All-Stars Global) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. CIMB’s Islamic All-Stars Global combines 100 per cent capital protection if held to its five-year maturity period with returns linked to the performance of 20 global blue-chip multinationals including Nestle, Nike, Colgate-Palmolive, Samsung Electronics, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and Microsoft. Targeted to achieve RM350 million from investors within the three-week sales campaign, this is the first product to be launched simultaneously in Malaysia and Singapore, and is for the mass affluent. The indicative gross profit rate in the first year is 8 per cent while for the second to the fifth year, the gross annual profit rate is estimated at between 8.5 and 10 per cent. Nazir, in his speech, highlighted that Malaysia’s Islamic banking and Takaful assets have enjoyed an annual growth of between 19 per cent and 25 per cent over the past five years. Asset-wise, he said Islamic banking and takaful assets stand at RM122 billion and RM6.6 billion respectively, which rank Malaysia’s assets among the largest in the world. Malaysia also accounts for 70 per cent of total global Islamic bonds in issue and 40 per cent of global Islamic unit trust asset. |SOURCE: BUSINESS TIMES, 25/1/2007

UK GOVERNMENT MAKES ISLAMIC FINANCE EASIER The government today said it will introduce new measures to make Muslim financial packages easier in the UK. Islamic, or Shariah law, forbids the charging or receiving of interest (riba’ in Arabic), making conventional mortgages, overdrafts, and many investment funds off limits. While shares and dividends are acceptable, speculation is forbidden. Additionally, the only companies that are halal (permissible) to own shares in cannot have income from alcohol, pork-related products, pornography and nudity, conventional financial services, gambling, tobacco, armaments and human or animal genetic experimentation. Currently, there are several providers of Islamic current accounts, mortgages, and child trust funds - with plans announced to move into insurance and pension products. And today, Treasury minister Ed Balls set out new measures to help people launching Islamic finance products in the UK. The government said the finance bill 2007 would include measures to help the UK issuance and trading of Islamic securitisation products (sukuk), and added guidance on Islamic loan repayment systems (diminishing musharaka) and insurance (takaful) would be published alongside the Budget. “Today, I am able to set out the next stage in our reforms to ensure the tax and regulatory system will encourage the development of Shariah compliant products,” Mr Balls said. “Today is an example of public and private sectors working together to fulfil our shared ambition of creating major international markets in Islamic finance with London as their centre.” |SOURCE: MYFINANCES.CO.UK, 31/1/2007

HSBC OPTIMISTIC MORE INTERNET BANKING WITH ZAKAT PAYMENT HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd, the first foreign bank to offer online payment for zakat by Muslims, is optimistic that more customers would use its Internet banking services, with the new facility. With 25 per cent of the bank’s customers being Muslims, the potential from this particular service (online zakat payment) is very high, HSBC Bank deputy chairman and chief executive officer, Datuk Zarir J Cama said. HSBC had recently added Selangor Zakat Board (LZS) and Federal Territory Zakat Collection Centre (PPZWP) to its list of online bills payment merchants. Meanwhile, chairman of Selangor Religious Council (MAIS), Datuk Setia Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa said, Selangor collected about RM160 million in zakat payments last year and the payment of zakat through online payment was increasing. HSBC started its Islamic business in 1994 but went big in it from 2003 onwards. He added that 14 per cent of the bank’s total business is from Islamic banking according to its balance sheet as at Sept 30, 2006. On the stock market performance recently, Zarir said it was reacting to the fact that it had moved up very fast. “When something moves up too fast in a very short period, there is likely to be a reaction sometime (later). I think it has calmed down a little bit. It will find its own level again,” he said. “I don’t think this is a meltdown or a start of anything of that kind. It will calm itself down, we hope,” he added. |SOURCE: THE EDGE, 2/3/2007


Finance upd.indd 57


3/12/07 12:36:48 AM

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3/12/07 6:48:30 PM










Photo #648741 by John Mailsparky

Marketing The Halal Product Non-Muslims in general have no issues with food, as they have no dietary taboos. The Muslim world should capitalise on this, by branding and communicating to everyone that Halal food for example, is organic, safe to eat and more healthful to consume. Perhaps even the word ‘Halal’ shouldn’t be part of the company’s branding strategy!


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3/13/07 11:29:10 AM

cover story

Branding and marketing are two essential tools of a successful product. Halal goods and services can’t escape their clutches either, and with excellent strategies, Halal will go beyond global.

Selling Halal IN THE 21ST



It’s an odd thing but when we talk about nutritious

with everyone, now that most

foods, we tend to think of plain

foods are on a fitness bend?

boring fibre and Weetabix. However, with active lifestyles

One: branding. It’s all

being actively embraced, and

about image, whether you

organic food thought of as vital

like it or not. Quite a number

to one’s well-being, consumers

of products touting the

are now jumping onto the band-

goodness of (the foods) and

wagon and eating more healthfully

that they are safe for Muslim

than ever. It pays also to have the media play an important role in perpetuating the goodness of such foods and lifestyles. The thing is, with Halal foods, the ‘nutritious’ X-factor hardly comes into play, through no fault of its own. In a nutshell, Muslims and non-Muslims perceive Halal foods as not having any porcine or alcoholic matter in the endproducts, full stop. (This goes for cosmetics, home commodities such as cleaning solutions and so


forth.) And at the risk of sounding

consumption, are not attractive. One successful brand of food that comes to mind would be the Brahim’s instant foods line, which has saved many a Muslim traveller and student abroad. The consumer knows that the curries and meats are Halal, and that they taste good. He is also guaranteed not only a great meal, but also the fact that he’s not eating junk food. In short, Brahim is your Insta-Mum, who provides you with healthy foods while you are away from home.

Unless the consumer is

Secondly: the packaging is

it comes to Halal foods would

discerning, very few come out

attractive. Look at the font of the

be that they would (a) be exotic

knowing the reasons why Halal

brand itself – almost Moorish like

meals from the Middle East,

foods should be consumed and

in manner, the consumer can spot

(b) common edible fare such

that they are as healthy if not

a Brahim’s rendang daging (broth

as dates, honey and lentils to

more, as products produced

of meat cooked in spices and

name a few, and that (c) foods

by multinational food giants.

coconut) from afar. The colours

trite, what comes to mind when

and snacks available in Muslim countries are all safe to eat.

What are the reasons for Halal food products not being in fashion

are eye-catching too. Now that’s what you call successful branding.


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cover story

company should also make its

Muslims, and to capture a global

manufacturers is that they are

presence known at events, charity

market is fantastic! Besides, it

overly earnest in wanting to

drives and so forth. Yes, events

may give the wrong perception to

tell the world that their foods

management and sponsorship

others: a non-Muslim may think

are Halal for Muslims and non-

help seal the product in the

the food is only for Muslims.

Muslims, so one gets rather odd

hearts and minds of consumers.

collateral sometimes. A camel

The company may shake its head

of ideologies. Halal food and

or a man dressed like a Bedoiun

at the expense, but remember:

products is for everyone, but

stamped on a bottle is hardly

the return of investment will be

because of certain thinkers

attractive to the eye, and smacks

three-fold, provided the product

and religious persuasion, many

of stereotyping. A dipstick survey

is excellent to begin with!

Muslims tend to segregate their

The trouble with many Muslim

around the office revealed a

Advertising also places a big

Herein likes a battlefield

lifestyles from non-Muslims. Non-

few sentiments: why is it when

part. Again, media placement

Muslims in general have no issues

it comes to the branding of

must be strategic. There are ways

with food, as they have no dietary

Halal products, it has to have

to accommodate a company’s

taboos! The Muslim world should

a Middle Eastern flavour. Halal

budget. Make sure the media and

capitalise on this, by branding and

is global, hence all branding

advertising houses are credible!

communicating to everyone that

and marketing collateral should

A word of caution: you can’t

have an international appeal.

Halal food for example, is organic, safe to eat and more healthful to consume. Perhaps even the word

Thirdly, and no less

‘Halal’ shouldn’t be part of the company’s branding strategy!

important: the marketing and public relations drive. How

External communications are

does a company engage with

important but equally crucial

the public and make sure

is the internal campaign in the

that it offers (product) the

company. What’s the use of

consumer great nutrition?

touting a product if within the

It’s all well and good to plaster the ingredients on the composition chart which is at the back of the container of the products, but how many people read that? Never, ever under estimate two things: the power of the media, and word of mouth. Both work in conjunction to sell the company and goods. A media drive is an essential


tool to communicate to the

company the infrastructure is not set –up and the staff does not believe in the foods? A company information line does wonders, and must be backed by a strong customer service support team. At the end of the day, the company must exemplify the very brand it’s pushing to the public.

Four: study the competition. Nabisco, Nestle, these are just

public about the company and

do hard-sell. It may upset more

a few names a company would

its merchandise. It is here that

conservative companies, but

do well to study on. These

the public hears about the goods

when one keeps harping on the

companies are successful

and learns about them in greater

‘Halal-ness’ and ‘Islamicity’ of

not only for their image and

depth. All media channels must

a product, the consumer will

branding exercise but also

be utilised, and an aggressive one

wonder at the propaganda. You’re

because their products deliver.

year campaign, to be followed

selling food. A product. And

by consistent presence in the

realise that you’re not selling to

relations. Think of it as 21st

media after that, must follow. The

just Muslims, but also to non-

century missionary work.

It’s all about public hj


living.indd 62

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Saleh Abdullah Lootah of Al Islami Foods (left) listens tentatively to HDC chairman Tan Sri Syed Jalaludin Syed Salim at the recent Gulfood exhibition in Dubai, while HDC chief executive officer Dato’ Jamil Bidin looks on.

Delegates listening attentively at the food security conference held in Dubai in conjunction with the annual Gulfood trade fair.

From right, Nordin Abdullah, KasehDia director, Khairy Jamaluddin, World Halal Forum chairman, Jumaatun Azmi, KasehDia managing director, Shukri Abdullah, MIHAS chief executive officer along with Jumaatun’s relatives at the book launch in Carcosa.

A KasehDia staff checking the list of invites for registration during the recent launch of the second edition of the Halal Food Guide Kuala Lumpur 2007/08

Dignitaries and participants gathering for a group photo with the Malaysian Prime Minister after the conclusion of the recent Conference of Zakat at Putrajaya.

From left, Mr. Lee K. Kwan, Director, CIMB Investment; Dato’ Nazir Razak, CIMB Group Chief Executive; Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, CEO, CIMB Islamic and Muzaffar Hisyam, Deputy CEO, CIMB Islamic sharing a light moment during the launch of their new product, the Islamic All-Stars Global Restricted Mudharabah Structured Investment-i. THE HALAL JOURNAL LIVING

living.indd 63


3/12/07 12:48:11 AM


Music Review


Book Review




Rebellion and rock’n’roll have been strutting hand-in-hand for more than half a century, but only very rarely has their union involved real weapons and a painfully real struggle for survival. Tinariwen fought a rebellion in the early 1990s to win greater freedom and self-determination for the Touareg people of the southern Sahara. The fight was brief and bloody but it gave birth to a whole new style of desert music, powered by rolling camel-gait rhythms and the electric guitars. They are the creators of a new and contemporary style of Touareg music, often simply referred to as ‘guitar’, because the instrument symbolises the modernity of the group’s approach. Tinariwen invented this style and used it to carry their message of desert pride and survival to the four corners of the globe. Their lyrics call for the awakening of the politics of conscience and tackle the problems of exile, repression and territorial sovereignty. Their discographies include The Radio Tisdas Sessions (2001 Wayward Records, UK), Amassakoul (2004 IRL), and the latest Aman Iman (Independiente), released last February 2007. They are originators, survivors, the Stones and the Clash of the Sahara all rolled into one, and their roots rock rebellion of the soul is one of the most entrancing sounds to emerge from Africa in years. –

Restaurant Review

W. Chan Kim is The Boston Consulting Group Bruce D. Henderson Chair Professor of Strategy and International Management at INSEAD. Renée Mauborgne is the INSEAD Distinguished Fellow and a professor of strategy and management. Together, both argue, that to attain success and profit for a company is not by competing with rivals but by creating “blue oceans” of unchallenged market space toward a ripe and stable maturity. This is based on case studies of over 150 tactical moves spanning more than a decade and thirty industries. Scrutinising a vast range of strategic moves across a host of industries, Blue Ocean Strategy highlights the six principles that every company could use to formulate and execute blue ocean strategies. The six principles show: • how to reconstruct market boundaries instead of exploiting the existing market, • focusing on the bigger picture, • reaching beyond current demand instead of competing, • getting the strategic sequence right, • overcoming organizational hurdles and challenges, • and building execution into strategy. The reader could be a CEO of a multi billion corporate industry or a young up-and-coming entrepreneur learning the cruel yet critical tricks and trades of business, but among a “sea” of self-help and business strategy books, this one comes among the most highly recommended. “It is a precise, actionable plan for changing the way companies do business with one resounding piece of advise: swim for open waters.” – Publishers Weekly, USA

Subway Bangsar 30, Jln Telawi, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur Tel: 03-2282 0604 Operation hours: 8 am - 10.30 pm Sunday to Thursday • 8 am - 11.30 pm Friday & Saturday Price range: RM5.90 – RM23.90

Subway has always been known for its mouth-watering sandwiches and salads packed with really fresh ingredients. With 13 outlets so far in Malaysia, their only Muslim-owned outlet is located just a few lots away from Bangsar’s post office and is a welcoming respite among the many watering holes of Jalan Telawi. All Subway sandwiches come in either a six inch or a foot-long bread, of which you’ve got five different varieties of breads to choose from, seven if you include a deli-styled bun and a wrap (pita-like bread). Once settled for a base, next comes the agonising selection of sandwich choices. Among your options include Tuna Sandwich (RM9.50), Italian B.M.T (RM11.30) or Seafood & Crab (RM9.60). If you want a little zest in your meal, try their range of Hot Subs such as the Meatball Sandwich (RM9.80), Turkey Breast, Smoked Turkey & Breakfast Strips (RM11.30), Steak & Cheese (RM9.80) or the Chicken Teriyaki (RM9.80). Wash them all down with either a soft drink, hot drink, flavoured tea or bottled juice. Cosy and clean, quick and affordable, this particular Subway is an oasis in its own right. 64 THE HALAL JOURNAL LIVING

living.indd 64

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on display Halal products are those that are good, pure and safe for human consumption. It ranges from food to cosmetics, pharmaceuticals to toiletries. Here are some of the products with the Halal guarantee.

Fruit Tree Apple & Aloe Vera Juice

For a quick and refreshing thirst quencher, try F&N’s healthier alternative – the fresh apple and aloe vera, with bits of aloe vera pulp to nibble on – giving that sensation of a freshly squeezed juice right out the carton. Along with other varieties of flavours, this tangy wholesome fruit juice gives a great taste that’s packed with Vitamins B1, B6 and C. JAKIM Halal certified, Fruit Tree Apple & Aloe Vera Juice is a fine example of a Halal, healthy and wholesome drink, all rolled into one. It is also widely available in all major supermarkets throughout Malaysia.

Dr Azimuth’s range of Vital Juice El Hajj Skincare range

From the pioneers of Halal skincare range, ElHajj Products brings to you their range of essential protective skincare. Proven to be beneficially effective against the harshest of climate dry, ElHajj skincare range can protect your skin in the hot and arid weather such as in Saudi Arabia, perfect for pilgrims going on hajj. Formulated to be pure Halal with alcohol and fragrancefree, ElHajj range of skincare also comes with exotic, nourishing herbal oils, enriched with plant extract to cleanse, moisturise and soothe your skin naturally, while protecting it from adverse conditions and extreme climates, anywhere in the world. This JAKIM Halal certified product is available at all leading pharmacies. For more info, log on to

Asians are known for their adept understanding on the usage of plants, herbs and spices to maintain health. This natural approach has been applied for centuries to ward off or overcome various cronic ilnesses. This is essentially the basis of Dr. Azimuth’s formula, incorporating herbal remedies in all of his products.One of their best selling is the Vital Juice range of concentrated juice, which has four varieties including aloe vera gel, sugar-free aloe vera gel, honey spirulina with wheatgrass and honey spirulina with lemon. Aloe vera is known for its anti-flammatory and anti-microorganism properties while protein-rich spirulina is a good source of energy and is known for its antiviral and antioxide properties which can help protect your internal organs. This IFANCA certified product is currently available only through selected Malaysian dealers. For more info, log on to or call Nik Aida Nik Mansor at +6 017-2644 960.

Nestlé Honey Stars Breakfast Cereals

Getting kids to eat breakfast can be a daily battle in some homes. But you know they shouldn’t leave the house without first having a nutritious breakfast. How else would they get the nutrients and energy to get through the morning’s activities? One of Nestle’s best selling kid’s breakfast cereals is the Honey Stars, a crunchy star-shaped cereal pieces that is blasted with golden honey. Calcium-enriched to help build stronger bones and teeth, this is just what children need for more wholesome goodness. It is also enriched with B vitamins to release energy from the foods they eat. Like any other Nestlé products manufactured overseas, Nestle’s Honey Stars is IFANCA Halal certified and is available everywhere! Check out for Nestle’s other popular children breakfast cereals.

Kraft’s Cheese Spread Cream Cheese

KRAFT cheese spread brings an incredible cheesy taste to your meal. With its smooth and creamy texture, you can spread it on toast, bread and it could even be an ideal topping for vegetables. Dedicated to delivering high-quality products and to enhancing the safety of the food supply, this KRAFTy product is Halal certified by the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) and is available at most leading outlets across outlets across the globe. For more info, log on to


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THE AUSTRALIAN FEDERATION OF ISLAMIC COUNCILS INC. HEAD OFFICE: 932 BOURKE STRE E T, Z E T L A N D , S Y D N E Y, N S W- 2 0 1 7 , A U S T R A L I A P O BOX: 7185 SSBH, ALEXANDR I A , N S W- 2 0 1 5 , A U S T R A L I A tel : ++61 2 9319 6733 fax: ++61 2 9 3 1 9 0 1 5 9 e m a i l: h a l a l h e l p @ b i g p o n d . c o m

LUCKY FOOD PROCESSING SDN BHD Halal Certified Facility Plot 35, Lengkok Kg Jawa 2 Miel Industrial Estate, Bayan Lepas 11900 Pulau Pinang

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) has had 41 proud years as Australiaʼs only Islamic peak body. The Federation is made up of nine state and territorial councils including Christmas Island and the ACT. AFIC has co-ordinated the Muslim community across the nation, sponsored the building of schools and mosque and assists with welfare and community initiatives.

T : 04-6408 116, 6408 118, 6408 119 F : 04-6341 616

One of the major function of AFIC is to provide Halal Accreditation and Certification Services for Meat and other products for Australian Companies. There is a huge Halal market which is worth US$1.3trillion worldwide. Halal Accreditation from AFIC will ensure the consumer confident in the product meeting the Islamic requirements and indicates that the product has been scrutinised by a regional Islamic Certifying Organisation. If you are a producer, manufacturer, supplier, exporter or distributor of food or personal consumer goods, you cannot afford to ignore the potential of HALAL ACCREDITATION of your products. Halal Accreditation procedure is quite simple. The experience and expertise of the AFIC Halal Team will guide you through the process professionally.



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parting words

Smooth Sailing Expected for Halal Logistics


he role of ports within the entire Halal logistical network is crucial in ensuring Halal goods arriving at their destination remain Halal. One such port that realise this immense potential is Northport at Port Klang, operated by Northport (Malaysia) Bhd. A multipurpose national gateway port, Northport draws its strength from a strong cargo base generated by the national economy. Of the total container throughput of 2.67 million TEUs (ten-foot equivalent) handled in 2006, 63 per cent was generated by the national trade, while the remaining was made up of trans-shipment traffic. Northport has three modern container terminals with a capacity to handle 5.0 million TEUs at the 13 berths stretching over a 3kms-long quay line and supported by 24 super post panamax shoreside cranes that can serve some of the largest container ships afloat. The Halal Journal met with its managing director and CEO Dato’ Basheer Hassan Abdul Kader to find out his views on the prospects of a global Halal industry. WHAT IS YOUR VIEW ON HALAL AS A THRIVING GLOBAL INDUSTRY? “The scope of the global Halal industry is a very large one and it goes well beyond just meeting the demands and standards of the Muslim market for Halal products. Halal product/trade is also about certified quality products that have met rigorous internationally accepted standards that are hygienic as well. As the leading Malaysian port with the most extensive global shipping connectivity, Northport at Port Klang offers the critical link in the transport and logistics chain for Halal products manufacturers and producers in their global market outreach.” HOW DO YOU SEE NORTHPORT FITTING INTO THE OVERALL BIG PICTURE? “We are treating the prospects and opportunities in the Halal trade as more than just a niche market and towards this end we provide an extensive range of facilities and services at our distripark within Customs-free Free Commercial Zone to allow value-adding activities. The Halal trade in Northport is treated as a mainstream activity, and not a peripheral one. Special zones have been designated for Halal activities in the 1 million sq ft of floor space in the distribution centre at the Northport Distripark. Also, under our RM500 million expansion plan the next five years, we have taken into account the need to further expand the facilities and services at the distripark including extending the scope for testing and certification of Halal products.”

WHAT ARE NORTHPORT’S RECENT INITIATIVES TOWARDS THIS END? “Among the recent initiatives in providing dedicated shipping services linking Northport with key Muslim consumer markets in the Pakistan, the Middle East include the weekly “Halal Express” by MISC Bhd, Malaysia’s national flag carrier. “The service jointly mounted with the Dubai-based Simatech Shipping LLC is served by four 1,200 TEU-size containership calling ports directly from/to Port Klang, Singapore, Colombo, Jebel Ali (Dubai), Dammam (S Arabia) and Karachi. We have also expressed keenness to work closely with the Port of Rotterdam, which has been certified as the only European Halal Hub with an outreach to about 30 million Muslims living in Europe. The cooperation will serve to expand the scope of the bilateral trade in Halal products, thus mutually benefiting the two ports.” CERTAIN PARTIES ARE CALLING FOR THE INSTITUTION OF ONE GLOBAL HALAL STANDARD. WHAT IS YOUR VIEW ON THIS? “As with the need to maintain standards in process flows that are internationally accepted, it will be beneficial to all those in the Halal trade to be able to comply with internationally certified standards mandated by a single recognised institution. It will be a positive move to have such standards to protect the integrity of the trade and the quality of products that demands not only high hygiene but most importantly religious compliance on which

there should be not ambiguity on standards and quality. In the distribution trade, it is not uncommon for internationally accepted standards and compliance are applied and mandated. It will certainly help streamline the development of the Halal trade that complies with the standards and certification of a single internationallyrecognised institution.” DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS TO THE NEWLY FORMED HALAL INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (HDC), FROM A LOGISTICAL PERSPECTIVE? “We welcome the creation of the HDC which is consistent with the government’s efforts to take the leadership in the development of the global Halal products industry. HDC provides the

It will be beneficial to all those in the Halal trade to be able to comply with internationally certified standards mandated by a single recognised institution. leadership and serves to facilitate the development of the trade, in particular in realising Malaysia’s vision to become a global hub for distribution of Halal products. We have noted that the HDC has initiated standardisation and certification in this regard in association with a global leader in testing, inspection, auditing and certification of products, commodities and systems. This is indeed a very positive move towards this end. “Northport will therefore work closely with HDC and other relevant agencies and bodies in the Halal chain including certification authorities to ensure that the Halal trade via Northport meets the stringent Shariah requirements and standards. This way, we can we can help raise the standards and develop best industry practices within the global distribution, transportation and logistics supply chain of the global Halal trade, where the role of a port is crucial in the efficiency of the hj delivery system.”


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3/12/07 7:28:39 PM

The Halal Journal - March/April 2007  


The Halal Journal - March/April 2007