Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New Zealand: Say Hello to Halal

Understand halal, or miss out on an enormously business opportunity. According to a recent estimate, 23% of the global population, or 1.57 billion people, are Muslims, with a massive and growing population among our near neighbours in South East Asia. And in the latest New Zealand study, more than 36,000 people identified themselves as Muslim. Halal in the Muslim faith is defined by the Quran as ‘allowed’, ‘permitted’ or ‘lawful’. To be halal, certain activities must be done in accordance with a specific set of rules and guiding principles. This includes the prohibition on eating certain animals, including pork, intoxicants such as alcohol and blood or blood products. It also outlines methods of slaughtering animals that are to be eaten.

Already some of our nation’s most forward-thinking companies are successfully tapping into this market. Unsurprisingly, dairy is leading the way. Colostrum: the first milk produced by cows that have just calved, is the latest ‘super food’ to take the health conscious world by storm. And expert suppliers like Auckland-based NZX-listed New Image are ensuring that includes the Muslim world by making sure the animal handling and production of the colostrum and the gelatine capsules it comes in meet Halal standards. The company is currently exporting approximately NZ $30-40 million worth of colostrum per year to Halal-based markets and its products have been halal certified for more than five years.

Simon Yarrow, general manager, global sales and marketing, said the process of getting certification was not difficult, requiring only a few ingredients to be changed, and entry into halal markets in Malaysia and Indonesia was also simple once the paperwork was in place.

Meanwhile, BurgerFuel is also leveraging healthy eating and halal to make inroads into the Muslim market. The Auckland based firm is using its a range of halal menu options to fuel its growth in the Middle East. The firm has so far opened up stores in Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia and is primed for further expansion with further Master Licence agreements in place for Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain and Libya.

Alexis Lam, Marketing Manager, said: “Our beef in New Zealand has been Halal for quite some time now, so there wasn’t a need for us to reshape our whole supply line in order to make the new territories viable.”

The target market for BurgerFuel is the Middle East’s emerging younger, more affluent population, particularly in forward-thinking city locations like Dubai. To achieve and maintain its certification, the company works with its whole supply chain to ensure that all BurgerFuel suppliers go through the relevant procedures and signoff processes for their industry.

Lam said: “There seems to be a healthy respect for the Halal certification we have in New Zealand. It has opened up a whole new market for us as well as another revenue stream as we become an exporter of 100% pure New Zealand grass fed beef as well as the Master Franchisor. I think the Kiwi firms that have global outlook in terms of their business and brand have a great opportunity in the Halal market,” he said. “It’s about a willingness to get out there and talk to the people.”

At the same time the New Zealand Asia Institute, which is part of the University of Auckland Business School is urging NZ Inc. to look beyond food for halal opportunities and develop a keener sensitivity to the Muslim religious lifestyle as a whole, both here and abroad. This would provide big boosts to sectors like financial services, travel and tourism.

Business School Dean Professor Greg Whittred said: “It is important that halal is recognised as more than just a commodities-based economy but validated as a much larger and broader entity that includes lifestyle, culture and politics.”

And Fiona Acheson, Trade Commissioner, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, added: “Halal consumers are a growing market. About 27% of Asia is Muslim, but the Muslim population is forecast to grow at about twice the rate of the non-Muslim population in the next two decades and 60% are under 30 years of age. It’s this younger group that are starting to seek halal products and want to buy food products, not just meat, and even cosmetics and pharmaceutical products that are halal. The first step is to recognise halal as a consumer trend and respond to it as you would with other trends such as sustainability and organics. Understand what the market potential is for your product if it carried the halal brand.”

By Andy Kenworthy

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Delegates to Sample Variety of Halal Foods Provided by Midamar at This Year’s ISNA Convention

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (PRWEB) August 31, 2012

Midamar will be exhibiting at the 49th Annual Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) Convention themed “One Nation under God – Striving for the Common Good”. The convention will be held over Labor Day weekend at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC and is expected to attract more than 30,000 attendees from across the eastern region of the USA.

Midamar will be supplying a variety of popular Halal food options to the attendees, including Halal pepperoni pizza, beef burgers, beef franks, beef gyros, fully cooked chicken tenders, and boneless, skinless chicken breast and thighs. Midamar is often described as a pioneer in the Halal Food industry. Established in 1974, Midamar was the first food company in the USA to coordinate with USDA in the development of Halal standards and processes in USDA inspected and approved processing facilities. Since then, Midamar has become a globally recognized Halal Brand and leading exporter of USA produced Halal foods.

“From the outset, our mission was to provide premium quality, Midwestern meat and poultry to Halal consumers in the USA and around the world, and to do this while maintaining the strictest Halal compliance standards” said Midamar Director Jalel Aossey. “We have been attending the ISNA convention for decades, and are thrilled to be able to supply the delegates with a variety of premium quality Halal food options. With so many people attending this conference, it is important to offer meals that will appeal to a variety of tastes and preferences.”

Besides supplying Halal food to be served at the Convention Center Food Court, Midamar will be holding taste testing and sampling sessions at its booth number 837 in the famous ISNA International Bazaar. “We will be offering samples of Halal Hot Links, Beef Franks, and all white meat fully cooked Chicken Tenders. All attendees are welcome to come to our booth and taste Midamar products,” explained Aossey.

Aossey’s grandfather started his business in Iowa in 1915 and his father Bill Aossey established Midamar in 1974 as the USA’s first Halal food company. The company now sells products in North America, Africa, the Middle East, and South East Asia. “Midamar is a Halal brand that produces and distributes Halal products. As a Halal company, we incorporate values of family and community in everything we do. Before we embark on new projects or pursue new opportunities, we assess the impact on the people and the environment we live in. Being a Halal company is much more than being a company that sells Halal products.”

As the first Halal food company to develop an e-commerce site in 1999 and the first Halal brand to export from the USA to Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, Midamar has established itself as an innovative leader in the Halal Industry. It is the first US company to offer Halal Organic Beef and Chicken Line to consumers in the USA and internationally.

Recently, Midamar was honored with the "Distinguished Community Service Award" from the USDA's Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. It was the first company to receive the USDA award "For exemplary work in providing Halal food options for Muslims in America and around the world". Midamar is also the first USA based food company to receive the coveted international award for “Best New Halal Food” at Gulfood in Dubai for two years running.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Brunei: Brunei Halal has potential in Halal Cosmetics

The Embassy of South Korea is keen to facilitate the discussion of the use of Brunei's Halal brand in Korean cosmetic products, said the South Korean Ambassador to Brunei.

In an email interview with The Brunei Times, Ambassador of South Korea to Brunei His Excellency Choi Byung-Koo, pointed out that the world halal market is enormous and getting bigger as global Muslim population continues to increase.

“Here, I see a potential for cooperation between Korea and Brunei in cosmetic industry. Korea’s technique combined with Brunei’s halal reputation can create the best combination to compete in the blue ocean market of halal cosmetics.”

He said that he had held discussions with key people in the halal industry, including Ghanim (the company managing marketing of the Brunei Halal brand), BEDB (Brunei Economic Development Board), and MIPR(Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources), and that he had sent letters to major Korean cosmetic companies to let them know about the potential for cooperation with Brunei.

“Some companies showed interest. And there might be business coming in. My embassy will do its best to assist facilitating the cooperation in this area,” he said.

He also noted that Korean cosmetic products are very popular and well received in Brunei, noting many Korean cosmetic shops such as Laniege, Face Shop, Skin Food, Skin79, Etude, Holika Holika and Tony Molyhave been established in the country.

After speaking to owners and staff of those companies, he noted that the variety and high quality of the Korean cosmetic products were the reason behind their popularity.

“World wide popularity of Korean cosmetic products is also backed by the surge of K-pop and Korean dramas. This also led to the people’s interest to know more about Korea’s culture and society.”

He said that he viewed Brunei as a nature loving country, “second-to-none,” and by having best-preserved forest and biodiversity, Brunei also has a huge potential in pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry.

The ambassador noted that “Brunei’s pure and advanced image boosted Brunei’s international standing for Halal Brand”.

Earlier in June this year, A memorandum of understanding was signed between Universiti BruneiDarussalam and Gyeonggi Institute of Science and Technology Promotion, a South Korean commercial research institute, to utilise Brunei’s local biodiversity for potential commercial products such as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

By Koo Jin Shen, Brunei Times

Saturday, August 11, 2012


After 8th and 9th. General Assembly Meeting of WHC in Istanbul/Turkey, 10th General Assembly Meeting of the World Halal Council (WHC) will be held on 23 & 24 November 2012 in Manila, Philippines.
We are pleased to inform you that the 10th General Assembly Meeting of the World Halal Council (WHC),the global federation of Halal Certifiers is scheduled for the first time in Manila, Philippines on 23 & 24 November2012 at the Shangri-la Hotel in Makati City, Philippines.
The Islamic Da’wah Council of the Philippines, Inc. (IDCP) is hosting this event, and, in addition, a 2-day Halal World Forum (HWF) 2012 for Halal manufacturers, suppliers, rdealers, academe and consumes is also being organized on 21 & 22 November 2012 in order to have a harmonious meeting and dialogue between the producers, consumers and certifiers around the world.
In connection with the 2-day Halal World Forum, we are pleased to extend our cordial invitation to you and your organization to participate in this meeting and business matching event.
The hotel venue is at the business center of Makati City, which is conveniently located for your business and pleasure during your stay in the Philippines.
Considering that we have limited the number of participants to only 500, the participant’s registration as well as hotel accommodation is on a “first come first serve “ basis in which IDCP will be happy to assist you.

Islamic Da’wah Council of the Philippines, Inc. (IDCP)
Member, Executive Committee – World Halal Council (WHC)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Engro Foods Canada set to make profit next year

Engro Foods Canada is poised to post a profit next year by increasing availability of its halal meat product line in major chains of retail outlets across the North American continent, Engro Foods CEO Afnan Ahsan said on Wednesday.
The total size of the halal meat market in North America, which includes Canada and the United States, is estimated at $290 billion.
Al Safa Halal is a halal meat brand of Engro Foods Canada and its subsidiary Engro Foods USA, LLC. The brand existed for over 10 years before it was acquired by Engro Foods in May 2011, a first-of-its-kind offshore venture ever undertaken by a Pakistani conglomerate in the $632 billion global foods business.
So far, Al Safa Halal is running in loss. It posted a loss after tax of Canadian $313,000 for January-March 2012, according to Engro Corporation’s directors’ report to the shareholders.
“The total revenue for the first half of 2012 is C$5.8 million,” Ahsan told The Express Tribune, adding that the company is expected to become profitable in 2013.
Current losses are not reflected in the financial performance of Engro Foods. Rather, they are consolidated in Engro Corporation’s financial statements in view of the prevailing corporate laws, according to which a company must remain profitable for three years before acquiring an offshore entity.
“From next year onwards, books of Engro Foods will show the financial performance of Al Safa Halal separately,” he said.
The Halal meat market in North America is highly fragmented, according to Ahsan. Top 10 players collectively have less than 15% share of the Halal meat market, he added. In the segments of chicken, beef, pizza and vegetable, Al Safa Halal currently offers 18 products in Canada and 21 products in the US.
Its presence in the US is clearly not as strong as in Canada, although the former is a 10 times bigger market than the latter. While Al Safa Halal products are available in the outlets of at least 12 leading retail chains across all major cities of Canada, they are available in the US mostly through ethnic stores. The reason for its deeper footprint in Canada is that Al Safa Halal was originally a Canadian company, Ahsan said.
Still, roughly 80% business of Al Safa Halal in Canada comes from ethnic stores. “First-generation immigrants tend to buy food from ethnic stores. But their second generation, which is more integrated into the mainstream society, is likely to buy food from major retail outlets,” he noted.
Estimates say that 83% of all food purchases in North America are carried out in major retail stores. Al Safa Halal aims to increase the share of major retail outlets in its revenues in Canada to 50% in the next five years.
In the US market, however, its products are available mainly in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. New markets for Al Safa Halal in the US are Chicago, Los Angeles and major cities of Texas, which have a concentration of Muslim population.
Among the top five North America-based management positions in Engro Foods, four are held by people of Pakistani origin. The only white Canadian, who is chief operations officer, was retained by Engro Corporation upon its acquisition of Al Safa Halal, where he had already been working in the sales division.
“Of the 27 people Engro employs in North America, we have people from Iran, Sudan, Ethiopia and Venezuela. I think three or four of them are non-Muslims,” he said, adding that the company is an equal opportunity employer.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Still many Muslim restaurants preparing food without halal logo Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/08/07/still-many-muslim-restaurants-preparing-food-without-halal-logo-nasir/#ixzz22qTaYnlw

KOTA KINABALU: There is still a handful of Muslim restaurants found to be preparing food with Al-Quran verses without the halal logo in their premises.
Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Datuk Nasir Tun Sakaran said a recent survey conducted by enforcement personnel found that those restaurants did not have any halal logo certified by the relevant authority.
“I advise these restaurant owners not to display the Quran verses if they have not been certified and issued with the halal logo and certificate to prevent any confusion to the public, especially to the Muslim community,” he said during a joint inspection with the State Islamic Religious Affairs Department (Jheains) and the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs Department in Sinsuran Complex here yesterday.
According to Nasir, about 30 percent of the 390 Muslim premises such as restaurants and those selling consumer products in the state have been certified and have the halal logo from Jheains.
He said most of the restaurant owners assumed that they need not have to apply for the halal certificate because they are Muslim and only sell halal food.
Nasir added that the matter had been looked into and the need for a halal logo had been enforced since January 1 this year to ensure all Muslim restaurants applied for the halal certificate to prevent any confusion.
“As of January 1, about 80 halal certificates have been issued to Muslim restaurant owners throughout the state,” he said.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Thailand: Sri Lankan Halal products look for global reach

The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama Halaal Division (ACJU- HD) headed by As Sheikh Mufti Rizwe recently visited the Central Islamic Council of Thailand which is responsible for Thailand Halal Food Production and the Halal Science Centre at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok,” the ACJU-HD said in a statement.
“Thailand currently exports 312 Million US dollars of Halal Food and Cosmetic Products annually and is planning on a 40 percent increase year on year. The Global Market for Halal Food and Cosmetic Products is in the region of 1 Trillion US dollars per annum.
“The Government of Thailand has appointed the Central Islamic Council of Thailand (CICOT) to be responsible for the Institute of Halal Food Standards in Thailand. The Halal Science Centre at Chulalongkorn University has a world class Halal science laboratory in the heart of Bangkok. The Laboratory is fully equipped with a variety of advanced and sophisticated scientific instruments to perform testing to ensure an item is halal.
“Currently the ACJU- HD is in the process of signing a memorandum of understanding with both CICOT and the Halal Science Center to ensure all products locally certified by the ACJU – HD have global recognition. This agreement will enable Sri Lankan Halal certified products to have a Global reach, thus enabling Sri Lankan exports to also have a share in the Trillion Dollar Food and Cosmetic Market,” the statement said.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Halal on the Menu at the ACI

The Adult Correctional Institutions will be serving Halal meals to Muslim inmates after reaching a settlement with a group of inmates who filed suit in 2008.
In the lawsuit, the inmates argued that the state refused to provide the Halal meals, substituting vegetarian meals which do not respect Muslim practice.
WPRI reported that that inmates also asked to pray in a group and wear Kufi head wear outside their cells, but those requests were rejected because of security concerns.
Halal food follows Islamic Law and is prepared under specific circumstances. It must not be prepared, processed or stored near or in contact with food that does not obey Islamic Law.
Some foods which are considered unlawful are: pigs, boars, carnivorous animals with claws and fangs, birds of prey with claws, animals that live on both land and in water, all poisonous aquatic animals and food additives. Animals must be slaughtered properly with respect and causing the animal as little pain as possible. Typically, the jugular vein is cut to cut off oxygen to the brain and pain receptors.
An ACI spokeswoman couldn't say how much the Halal food will cost.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sharjah society backs halal food event

Sharjah Cooperative Society (SCS), a provider of quality foodstuff at competitive prices, has teamed up with Expo Centre Sharjah for an upcoming international exhibition of halal-certified food products.
The first edition of Halal Food Middle East will be held at Expo Centre Sharjah from December 10 to 12 and will aim to tap into the $2.77 trillion international halal food industry.
The show, which is held under the patronage of Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Ruler of Sharjah and Supreme Council Member, has the support of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, apart from several leading retailers, food producers and dealers.
“Preparations are under way to make the inaugural Halal Food ME a highly successful trade show. We launched the show globally during the eighth Malaysia International Halal Showcase (Mihas) in Kuala Lumpur and we will promote it globally. We just finished a promotional tour of China and will now be heading to Thailand,” said Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, director-general of Expo Centre Sharjah.
“The support and participation of Sharjah Cooperative Society will add more credence and strengthen the value proposition of Halal Food ME.”
“Sharjah Cooperative Society has a vital role in providing Halal-certified food products to Sharjah and the Northern Emirates,” Al Midfa added.
Halal Food ME is positioned as the most comprehensive show of its kind in the region, featuring Shariah-compliant food and beverages, bakery and confectionaries, broth products and food ingredients.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Indonesia Accepts Jakim Halal Certification - Mustapa

The Indonesian government has accepted the Halal logo and certificate issued by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed. He said the development brought relief to producers of Malaysian Halal products who are facing difficulties penetrating the Indonesian market due to Halal certification. He said the matter was confirmed at an informal meeting of the ministers for religious affairs of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore (MABIMS) in May.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Saffron Road Announces More Products and Wider Retail Availability for Ramadan

Though only in its second year, American Halal Company, Inc.’s brand, Saffron Road, has already established itself as an innovator in addressing the unmet needs of the American Muslim consumer market. In preparation for the month-long Islamic holiday, Ramadan, Saffron Road has significantly augmented its product lines and dramatically expanded its retail distribution nationally to better serve its Halal consumers. In less than two years, Saffron Road has gone from four initial Halal products at inception, to over 30 Halal products sold nationally today.
Saffron Road has several new products ideal for Ramadan, including new World Cuisine Simmer Sauces, frozen phyllo appetizers (a healthier alternative to deep fried samosas for iftars), a family-sized portion of Chicken Tikka Masala and Broths. The entire assortment of Saffron Road products will be on sale in over 5,000 stores during Ramadan including Whole Foods Market (in mid-July), Kroger (during August), Publix (during August), Fairway, H.E.B and Central Market (during August), Gelson’s and Sprouts (during July) and most independent stores where Saffron Road is carried (during July). The Saffron Road team hopes the increased retail availability paired with targeted promotions during Ramadan will incentivize Muslim shoppers to go in their local stores to purchase Saffron Road’s Halal products for festive gatherings during Ramadan, including iftars or the daily traditional breaking of the fasts at sundown.

Monday, July 9, 2012

MALAYSIA: New era for Malaysian Halal standard

The Halal issue in this country will no longer be a seasonal topic in the media when the new Malaysia Halal Standard is enforced by Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM). The Halal issue always receives more attention just before Ramadan and according to Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Fadillah Yusof this was due to confusion by consumers on current Halal standards as many bodies are involved in this country on the matter.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

PAKISTAN: World's first postgraduate diploma on Halal industry launched

The world's first postgraduate diploma on Halal industry is going to be launched in Pakistan from the November 1, which will be presented through modern online technology concurrently around the world so that the education and awareness regarding Halal food and products could be spread in Muslim and non-Muslim countries with special reference for those countries where Muslims are in minority and they remain tensed about Halal food products.
While telling about the aims and objectives of this diploma, Chief Executive Officer of Halal Research Council, Muhammad Zubair Mughal said this diploma would be of eight months which would consist of four modules and each module would consist of two courses.
In first module, concepts of Halal and general guidance about Halal food would be taught whereas role of food ingredients and Halal slaughtering in second module, prospective of Halal industry world-wide and Halal banking in third module and Halal standardisation and prospective of Halal industry in developed area will be taught in fourth module.
He said the diploma was based on state-of-the-art technology in which a student could get log in to his/her account and could get benefit from different facilities like lessons, assignments, live chat with tutor and online examination.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Islamic scholars accuse kfc of of mislabelling its chicken as Halal

The fast food chain has been accused by the UK’s leading Islamic scholars of mislabelling its chicken as Halal, the Islamic dietary code. At a conference in the Hijaz Centre, Nuneaton, around 40 of the UK’s leading Islamic scholars agreed KFC should stop selling its chicken labelled as Halal because it is machine-slaughtered, which they claim is not permitted under Islamic law. Naved Syed, a Halal processor, said that the decision is in line with FSA guidelines, which state that each animal must be slaughtered by a man with a knife and “Bismillah Allahu Akbar” (In the name of God, God is the Greatest) must be said on each animal or bird. FSA guidelines also say that no animal must see another animal being killed.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Brazilian Food Firm inks Saudi Supply deal

A Brazil-based Halal food manufacturer has announced plans to supply a range of products to Saudi Arabia. Maricota brand products, made by Clap Foods, are about to enter supermarket shelves in Saudi Arabia after signing contracts to supply 300 tonnes of frozen products to Al Othaim Markets, a chain that operates in retail, wholesale and distribution of foods in the Gulf kingdom. The contract includes the sale of cheese bread, pizzas, lasagne, kibbehs, chicken cakes, cheese biscuits and pancakes. In 2011, Clap got Halal certification for 37 items and this year participated in food trade show Gulfood, resulting in the company winning its first client in the region

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Halal meningitis vaccine available worldwide

For many years, the fully Halal meningitis vaccine was a dream for the Muslim world but now it is a reality. The long waited Halal meningitis vaccine named ‘Menveo’ is now available worldwide. Many Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia have approved it and many have instructed to replace the previously used one with this Halal vaccine.
According to the available information meningitis vaccine earlier produced, contained materials of bovine or porcine origin. Due to this reason Muslims had been complaining against those vaccines and urging for producing completely Halal vaccine from Halal ingredients. Due to this demand from the Muslim world an ‘apparently Halal’ vaccine was produced named Mencevax. It is alleged that Mencevex even used porcine ingredients at manufacturing stage but the finished product could be made porcine free with the blessings of latest scientific technologies. Nevertheless, to say that Bangladesh is still using this ‘apparently Halal’ vaccine though completely Halal vaccine is available in the market. However, the government is under pressure to use Halal vaccine especially for the hajj pilgrims.
Menveo vaccine is a conjugate vaccine but the previous one was polysaccharide vaccine that has lots of limitations. It is not effective for infants; it cannot immune memory and cannot ensure prolonged duration of protection. But Menveo vaccine is very much effective for the aforementioned conditions. It not only protects but also prevents the carrier of the germs to spread, among others. The Halal vaccine has a boosting effect, and in repeated use it doesn’t lose power rather intensifies it.
Therefore, saving life is of foremost important for the host country. Besides, the hajis might not be infected and become a carrier of such communicable diseases is also a great concern. And when there is an issue for haram and Halal, the Muslims will accept the Halal one- no doubt. So, it is expected that the government will also take necessary steps to provide Halal conjugate vaccine for this year’s hajj pilgrims.No other mass gathering can compare, either in scale or in regularity. Communicable disease outbreaks of various infectious diseases have been reported repeatedly during and following the hajj. Therefore, to protect the pilgrims from communicable diseases the Saudi government has made it mandatory for the pilgrims to take meningitis vaccine before arriving at the holy place. During Hajj, carrier rates for meningococcal disease rise to a level as high as 80% due to intense overcrowding, high humidity and dense air pollution . It should also be mentioned here that the meningitis belt of Sub-saharan Africa, stretching from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east has the highest rates of the disease.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Malaysia-East Java entrepreneurs urged to develop Halal industry

Malaysian Halal products entrepreneurs and their counterparts in East Java have huge potential in developing the Halal industry by using high-technology concepts.
Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) Chairman Tan Sri Syed Jalaludin Syed Salim said the agency is ready to assist such endeavour to attain win-win synergies.
HDC can bring Halal product entrepreneurs from Malaysia on a special visit to East Java to introduce the country's Halal industry concept following the huge interest shown by entrepreneurs in East Java.
"They want to develop industrial park, and if we can offer assistance to them, this is better.
HDC can introduce the Halal park concept and this will be good joint venture between Malaysia and Indonesia," he told Bernama.
Syed Jalaludin was among the Malaysia small and medium enterprise (SME) delegation under the guidance of SME Corp Malaysia and HDC on a two-day visit to Surabaya.
The visit was led by Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed aimed at strengthening the bilateral trade and investment with entrepreneurs in Surabaya and East Java.
The HDC Chairman said Malaysia should focus on making more business visits to Asean countries such as Indonesia as the country not only has a huge market but its entrepreneurs want to collaborate with Malaysian businesses.
"Indonesia has a large population, huge market, many resources while Malaysia has high technology...this is where we can work together.
"We also have more intellectual properties, so we can attain win-win synergies," he said.
Syed Jalaludin believed that the collaboration can achieve success as expected and it can start in East Java.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

U.S.A: More Food Producers Pursue Halal Certification

There are nearly 100 Halal restaurants around Seattle, but a spokesperson for the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA) says interest in Halal certification is now percolating in U.S. cities without significant Muslim populations
"What we are hearing overwhelmingly is that this market is so huge, and people are just beginning to appreciate the opportunities," says IFANCA development director Asma Ahad, who recently addressed a meeting of corporate chefs and food scientists.
Ahad cited Cabot Creamery Cooperative, a Vermont-based dairy best known for its cheddars, as an example of a company which proactively pursued Halal certification. Partly in response to projections showing American Muslims would outnumber American Jews by 2010, Cabot obtained its certification in 2003.
"They can't exactly say what Halal contributed, but they've seen a double-digit increase in sales since then," Ahad says.
There are nine million Muslims in the U.S., and IFANCA estimates they annually spend $20 billion on food. Globally, Halal accounts for 16 percent of food purchases, or $1.2 trillion in sales.
Prisons, hospitals and military bases are among the top buyers of Halal products in the U.S.
"It's a newer area, but it's grown a lot, and it's still growing," Ahad says.
Growth in the Halal sector creates a domino effect, since the increased availability of Halal ingredients allows food producers to reformulate their recipes. A decade ago, producers who leaned heavily on alcoholic flavouring agents had little hope of ever meeting Halal requirements. But laboratories have since manufactured alcohol-free alternatives and introduced transgenic enzymes that can stand in for the pork enzymes popular with cheese makers.
According to Ahad, food producers intent on winning Halal certification still have to carefully monitor cross-contamination risks. She adds that vigilance is appealing to consumers who worry about food safety. Halal, like kosher, is associated with added inspection and cleanliness.
"It's different than kosher, though, because kosher's already been developed," Ahad says of the market potential. "Halal is such a growth area."

Muslim Growth Is Good For Muslim Businesses, Marketing

Muslim consumers are growing in the U.S. and they have money to spend. Now, businesses are starting to take notice.
"The emerging American Muslim market is perhaps the new area that a lot of businesses ... are starting to look into," said Rafi-uddin Shikoh, Managing Director and Founder of DinarStandard, a marketing research firm specializing in the emerging Muslim market.
Shikoh said his New York-based firm conducted research in 2011 on the Muslim marketplace and found that, while Muslims are just as hard to categorize as other groups, there are plenty of opportunities for different industries -- food, retail and finance -- to reach them.
With an estimated disposable income of between $107 billion and $124 billion, Muslim Americans are realizing they can use their size to influence the market, he said. If a business offers Halal food products, for example, Muslim consumers will pick that business over the others. "There are these unique things that businesses are not realizing but there's an opportunity for that," he said at a recent forum sponsored by the American Islamic Congress.
The Pew Research Center conducted a survey last year on Muslim Americans and estimated a population of about 2.8 million Muslims in the U.S., and they're growing thanks in part to a higher fertility rate than other Americans.
While the exact number of American Muslims has been disputed, the general consensus in the business world is that the majority of the growing Muslim consumers are young, middle class and misunderstood. Pew also found that U.S. Muslims (14 percent) roughly mirror the general population (16 percent) on the percentage of households with annual incomes of $100,000 or more.
Businesses now want to connect with this new market, said Sarab Al-Jijakli, account director at Ogilvy Noor, a boutique subsidiary of the Ogilvy & Mather global ad agency, which specializes in the emerging Muslim marketplace.
"Many brands are playing catch-up," Al-Jijakli said at the forum.
Arsalan Iftikhar, a contributing editor for Islamica magazine and author of "Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Era," said the American Muslim growth trend line is positive and he is glad American businesses are seeing the potential of selling products to a "previously untapped minority population."
"I think it is quite heartening that our nation's corporate and business leaders are beginning to notice our community as an up-and-coming minority group within America today," he said.
The racially and ethnically diverse Muslim population in the U.S. is concerned about the same issues as everyone else, like jobs, the economy and health care, said John Pinna, the AIC's director of government and international relations. But, like other immigrant groups, they're also looking for ways to participate in society.
And in America, that often means shopping.
"Now we're looking for products, we're looking to participate in the democratic process and we're this young population that's hungry to be noticed," said Pinna, an Afghan-American Muslim.
"The American Muslim community isn't really extraordinary at all," he said. "It's just that it's now starting to be noticed."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

PAKISTAN: Pak food brands set to make UAE foray

Pakistan’s food industry is poised to lead in the UAE 
market as major brands are expected to make forays into the country this year, Khaleej Times has learnt. Pakistani food companies made inroads to the UAE market at the Gulfood exhibition in February. The major groups held fruitful meetings at the exhibition and they will start launching their products from June onward, according to industry insiders. K&N’s Foods (private) Limited, a leading name in poultry and meat products in Pakistan, is expected to market its products in the UAE by June. Brands in 
edible oil like Sufi Cooking Oil and Habib Oil, leading herbal trademark Qarshi and confectionery products leader Hilal, among others are also planning to enter the UAE food market this year.

Friday, April 6, 2012

New analysis highlights importance of limiting industrial livestock production to improve personal and environmental health.

Global meat production and consumption have increased rapidly in recent decades, with harmful effects on the environment and public health as well as on the economy, according to research done by Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet project for Vital Signs Online. Worldwide meat production has tripled over the last four decades and increased 20 percent in just the last 10 years. Meanwhile, industrial countries are consuming growing amounts of meat, nearly double the quantity than in developing countries.
"Much of the vigorous growth in meat production is due to the rise of industrial animal agriculture, or factory farming," said Danielle Nierenberg, Worldwatch senior researcher and director of Nourishing the Planet. "Factory farms pollute the environment through the heavy use of inputs such as pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers used for feed production.
Large-scale meat production also has serious implications for the world's climate. Animal waste releases methane and nitrous oxide, greenhouse gases that are 25 and 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, respectively. "The world's supersized appetite for meat is among the biggest reasons greenhouse gas emissions are still growing rapidly," said Worldwatch President Robert Engelman. "Yet properly managed and scaled meat production ----like the kind pursued by small-scale pastoralists on dry grasslands----could actually sequester carbon dioxide. It's largely a matter of rethinking meat at both ends of the production-consumption trail."
Dirty, crowded conditions on factory farms can propagate sickness and disease among the animals, including swine influenza (H1N1), avian influenza (H5N1), foot-and-mouth disease, and mad-cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy). These diseases not only translate into enormous economic losses each year ----the United Kingdom alone spent 18 to 25 billion dollars in a three-year period to combat foot-and-mouth disease----but they also lead to human infections.
Mass quantities of antibiotics are used on livestock to reduce the impact of disease, contributing to antibiotic resistance in animals and humans alike. Worldwide, 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in 2009 were used on livestock and poultry, compared to only 20 percent used for human illnesses. Antibiotics that are present in animal waste leach into the environment and contaminate water and food crops, posing a serious threat to public health.
The amount of meat in people's diets has an impact on human health as well. Eaten in moderation, meat is a good source of protein and of important vitamins and nutrients such as iron, zinc, and vitamins B3, B6, and B12. But a diet high in red and processed meats can lead to a host of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
Eating organic, pasture-raised livestock can alleviate chronic health problems and improve the environment. Grass-fed beef contains less fat and more nutrients than its factory-farmed counterpart and reduces the risk of disease and exposure to toxic chemicals. Well-managed pasture systems can improve carbon sequestration, reducing the impact of livestock on the planet. And the use of fewer energy-intensive inputs conserves soil, reduces pollution and erosion, and preserves biodiversity.  
"Pastoral farming systems, especially in developing countries, improve food security and sustain the livelihoods of millions of farmers worldwide," said Nierenberg. "Eating less meat and supporting pastoralist communities at every level is essential to combat the destructive trend of factory farms."
Further Highlights from the Research:
·         Pork is the most widely consumed meat in the world, followed by poultry, beef, and mutton.
·         Poultry production is the fastest growing meat sector, increasing 4.7 percent in 2010 to 98 million tons.
·         Worldwide, per capita meat consumption increased from 41.3 kilograms in 2009 to 41.9 kilograms in 2010. People In the developing world eat 32 kilograms of meat a year on average, compared to 80 kilograms per person in the industrial world.
·         Of the 880 million rural poor people living on less than $1 per day, 70 percent are partially or completely dependent on livestock for their livelihoods and food security.
·         Demand for livestock products will nearly double in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, from 200 kilocalories per person per day in 2000 to some 400 kilocalories in 2050.
·         Raising livestock accounts for roughly 23 percent of all global water use in agriculture, equivalent to 1.15 liters of water per person per day.
·         Livestock account for an estimated 18 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, producing 40 percent of the world's methane and 65 percent of the world's nitrous oxide.
·         Seventy-five percent of the antibiotics used on livestock are not absorbed by the animals and are excreted in waste, posing a serious risk to public health.
·         An estimated 11 percent of deaths in men and 16 percent of deaths in women could be prevented if people decreased their red meat consumption to the level of the group that ate the least.
·         Eating organic, pasture-raised animals can be healthier and environmentally beneficial compared to industrial feedlot systems.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

World Halal Forum 2012 - Cultivating a Universal Halal Lifestyle

The 7th World Halal Forum (WHF) started on 2 April with Deputy Prime Minister, YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Hj Mohd Yassin officially launching the annual forum at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The two-day forum attracted the participation of 720 delegates and over 35 speakers. With participants and speakers from over 36 countries, WHF 2012 provides a stirring platform for a stimulating discussion on the USD800 billion worth Halal industry. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Hj Mohd Yassin, in his keynote address, praised the World Halal Forum for its efforts in emphasizing on a universal appeal on Halal principles and for leveraging on creative channels like the arts, media and entertainment in spreading good values. Tan Sri Muhyiddin also stated that the new generation of Muslim youths are asking for more value out of Halal and not just mere compliance to its standards. Established in 2006, WHF has since become part of the Malaysian government's 15-year plan to become the world's Halal hub. With this year's theme "INSPIRE, INNOVATE, INVEST", WHF 2012 goes beyond its usual exploration of business perspectives and reached out towards the grassroots with its primary focus on consumer issues, as well as helping the industry's understanding on its beneficial values, to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

UNITED KINGDOM: And not a woggle in sight - the new Scout uniform for Muslim girls

The Scouts have designed a special uniform for Muslim girls to cater for their growing female membership. A hoodie dress and a T-shirt dress which ‘encapsulate the adventurous spirit of Scouting’ are now available to attract recruits from Muslim families. It is hoped that the new uniforms will allow the movement to build on its growing popularity with girls. Around one in six of the 400,000 UK Scouts is a girl.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

UNITED KINGDOM: ‘Cruel’ Halal slaughter methods under attack

British ministers are seeking to change a law to ensure that meat slaughtered using Islamic, or Halal, methods cannot be sold without proper labelling. “unwitting members of the public” are being served Halal meat “secretly” in schools, hospitals, pubs and famous sporting venues, claiming that many in Britain deem the traditional Islamic way of preparing meat as “cruel,” including animal rights campaigners. Like Jewish kosher slaughter, the Halal method requires the butcher to kill the animal by slitting its throat, ensuring the animal is not stunned first to lessen its ordeal. Muslims are adamant that the Halal method ensures the least amount of pain possible for an animal, and is in accordance to animal welfare measures.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bright future for Halal personal care

With a worldwide recession looming, the Halal sector is one of the few industries bucking the trend fuelled by savvy consumers increasingly demanding purity of ingredients in their personal care products.Not only is the Halal sector not affected by the recession, it has followed its own growth path, with the Institute for Personal Care Science of Australia valuing the global Halal Cosmetics market at a staggering $13 billion and growing. Muslims and non-Muslims alike are inspecting ingredients with a keen eye and making buying decisions based on purity of the products they use on their skin. Consumers across the spectrum read labels for ingredients and have become increasingly smart about what goes into their skin care, shampoo, toothpaste, hair dyes and cosmetics. By the same token, there is little difference in the Halal sector, where consumers want products which take both health and religious compliance into consideration and therefore are certified as Halal. The case for organic has been made. Today the growing demand for Halal products is following suit. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Demystifying economic behaviour: An Islamic perspective

Humans are much more than utility maximizing machines. They are capable of using both material rationality and moral rationality to differentiate right from wrong and need reinforcement to adopt virtues influenced by an inner urge other than just material interests.
This inner urge can be reawakened by looking beyond utility maximization models to re-acknowledge the principal fact that humans are moral being than just an instrument for maximum material advancement for self.
The unbridled pursuit of greed also requires some external source of guidance than mere reliance on material animalistic instincts of a human soul. Religion provides the ethical check and call to balance material pursuits with attention to misery of the underprivileged people.
Islamic Economics and its knowledge sources, i.e. Quran and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) providing the foundation for Islamic Economics address directly the heart and remind the human being of his freedom in choosing actions and that he/she is expected to use that freedom in the manner that makes him/her worthy of eternal and complete happiness in life hereafter. This belief provides a permanent incentive to righteous behaviour even if it does not get rewarded in this life and it also provides a permanent check on wrong behaviour even if it is not codified and prohibited by the worldly institutions and law.This brings in the dynamic model of life a sea of change and truly impacts a human’s heart. It also influences the actions and reinvigorates the spirit of sacrifice and sparkles the moral being in a human.
Macroeconomists have strong disagreements for the economic explanation of events in the short run than in the long run. In the long run, there is lesser disagreement. But, if we consider the model of life in the long run, there will be no disagreement. Life, humans and their behaviour in social context has a lot of complexities which are difficult to model mathematically. But, life’s complex realities still has a deterministic end, which is relevant for all.
Everyone that comes in this world is determined to die and then be answerable for his/her actions. There is no error term to subscribe to. The model of this worldly life is in the perfect perusal of the Creator, Who knows everything as He built everything. There is no error possible in Allah’s judgment of us. We are the one responsible for our own parameters. These parameters are not exogenous to the model of life. We, performing different roles in our lives, are the ones controlling them. It is an awesome power to have it, but it is not without responsibility as it should not have been.History of economic man is fascinating. He has used the nature’s blessings to find and create new and innovative ways of maximizing utility. But, nonetheless, at all points in time, he does not feel satiated. He remains poor ‘relatively’ to the limitless desires and nature’s limitations. The dream of being absolutely apart only remains a dream in everyone’s life. But, then, everyone achieves it one day. There is one place that everyone reaches where he is not accompanied by anyone. It’s his or her grave. Belief in life hereafter is the only thing that gives meaning to this world and life and this is the most important pillar of Islamic Economics.