Aussies work on first global halal brand

Aussies work on first global halal brand

Nick Sheridan

September 24, 2007

A GROUP of Victorian businesses are working with the Government
of Brunei to develop the world’s first global halal brand.

More than 200 Victorian food manufacturers and producers are
involved in the project to establish a brand for premium halal
products by the middle of next year.

The project, which is being run by the Brunei Government and is
being coordinated in Australia by Elders, aims to fill a gap in the
halal market, which is worth about $US600 billion ($A700 billion) a

However, the market does not have any dedicated global brands
servicing it at present.

Australia is the first country to be approached by Brunei, which
represents an unprecedented opportunity for local food businesses
to gain access to a growing global market, according to the
chairman of Elders Victoria, Brian Norwood.

“What’s being offered to them is a new market opportunity and,
what’s more, it’s going to be part of a very, very large program
that’s going to be financed by somebody else,” Mr Norwood said.

The project will give Australian producers access to the world’s
1.9 billion-strong Muslim population, making the potential of the
brand incalculable, Mr Norwood said.

“It’s a billion dollar opportunity. How many billions I’m not
sure — but there’s enough noughts there, I think, to keep
people happy,” he said.

A delegation of Victorian businesses attended a halal food expo
in August in Brunei, where they met with members of the Government
and the Sultan of Brunei himself.

One member of the delegation was Robert Radford, the managing
director of Warragul company Radford’s Abattoir.

As well as providing networking opportunities, Mr Radford said,
the trip opened his eyes to some market niches that do not exist in

“There’s huge opportunities overseas for offal products that, on
the domestic market in Australia, is downgraded for pet food,” Mr
Radford said.

“We’ve just got to make every post a winner and get every
value-added product out of meat processing as possible,” he

Elders is now waiting for the Brunei Government to develop the
brand and packaging, along with a set of guidelines that producers
need to follow in order to be accredited, which the company expects
to take place by February next year.

This allows time for the range to be ready for the halal food
expo in Brunei next August.

In the meantime, Mr Norwood is keen to recruit as many
Australian producers to the project as he can. “My message to them
has been: ‘Here’s the size of the halal market; here’s what the
Bruneians are wanting to do. If you are involved in export, or are
thinking of exporting, you really need to have a think about
whether or not you should be involved in halal,’ ” he said.