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.