The global halal food industry is expected to be worth USD2.10 trillion by 2025 and a number of local companies, established and relative newcomers, have set up shop in Brunei with the intention of capturing a small slice of that pie.
A lack of a unified global halal certification procedure makes Brunei, with its notoriously stringent halal approval processes, particularly enticing for foreign corporations seeking to establish trust and credibility among the global Islamic community, leveraging on Brunei’s reputation for strong Islamic traditions and governance.
Ghanim International Corporation, with its line of bruneihalalfoods, has offered products ranging from poultry and dairy to processed foods and ingredients since 2009.
Ghanim works alongside local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to develop and manufacture products for the local and global market, and already have strong customer bases in China, Singapore and Malaysia, with plans to expand to Belgium and the Middle East.
Marsa Yag Sanayi Ve Ticaret Anonim Sirketi (Marsa), a Turkish-based company, helped establish Western Foods and Packaging Sdn Bhd (WFP) to manufacture margarine, oil and fats products.
Its modern factory, opened in November 2017, is capable of producing 200 tonnes of margarine per day at full capacity.
The products, which are Halal-certified by the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB), are intended to serve the growing global market demand for quality halal food products. They will also be the first margarine and edible oil products to be exported from Brunei.
The company sources its palm oil, the main raw ingredient of margarine, from Malaysia and its by-products can also be used as chicken feed or to make soap and detergent. The finished product will be targeted for export to the Asean region and beyond through Brunei’s main port, the Muara Port.
WFP is also looking into downstream opportunities for its products which can be used as ingredients to make biscuit, chocolates, pastries and ice cream.
Saahtain Asia Sdn Bhd has also begun manufacturing halal ready-to-eat meals at their second production site in Salambigar Industrial Park, after Dubai.
The company produces three lines of products; Al Gourmet – marketed for general retail; Tayyib – designed for humanitarian aid; and TheFoodPouch – military grade ration packs.
Saahtain’s products have been used in several global crisis situations, including the Gaza conflict, the earthquake in Nepal, feeding orphans in Ghana and most recently the Rohingya refugee crisis.
Brunei’s halal industry generated BND88 million in 2016 and a number of local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are keen to explore both local and regional markets with their products. Thirty-one of the 63 vendors at the Halalan Thayyiban Products and Services Expo (EKSPPHAT), which was part of the 2017 Brunei Halal Showcase (BruHAS), were in food and beverage.
BruHAS also hosted a halal clinic, where the public and businesses were given the opportunity to inquire about halal processes and guidelines, industry standards and analysis by the definitions of the Halal Food Control Division of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) and the Metrology Centre of the Ministry of Health.
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