Australia food makers await OK to use BruneiHalal

High Commissioner to Brunei Mark Sawers said the embassy is ‘working
with Ghanim (the company managing marketing of the Brunei Halal brand)
to identifuy Australian food producers’ that are eligible to sell their
goods under the premium brand.

“The ball is really in Ghanim’s court,” he said in an interview with The Brunei Times.

Recently, a spokesperson from Ghanim International Food Corporation
said that the brand is expected to launch its first range of products
within the next six to 12 months.

The brand is owned and managed by government-owned Brunei Wafirah
Holdings Sdn Bhd, which has appointed Ghanim to manage the brand
marketing. Ghanim is 50 per cent owned by Hong Kong logistics firm
Kerry FSDA and the Brunei government.

“The bigger Australian companies already have their own halal
marketing established so this will probably be another option for them,
but there will be potential of appeal for the small and medium
enterprises, especially those in boutique food,” said Sawers. He added
that Australian SMEs will find it quite daunting to enter the halal
food market and the Brunei Halal brand is a welcome option.

“If the Brunei brand delivers markets, then we are going to be happy to take part in it,” he said.

Some in the local food manufacturing sector are awaiting word on how
the marketing of the brand will be done in lucrative overseas markets.

“At the end of the day it is the market that will decide whether the
brand is good or not,” said Hj Abd Rahman Hj Metassan, managing
director of Malar Setia, a food and beverage importing company.
“Customers will look at the price and the quality and it depends if the
markets accept that or not,” he said.

“The prospects for the Brunei Halal brand are fantastic! It is a
US$600 billion opportunity that we have for Brunei and Brunei is known
for its Islamic values,” said Hj Salleh Bostaman Hj Zainal Abidin, Apec
Business Advisory Council member. There are not only opportunities for
the brand in food processing, but that the opportunities could expand
to transport, handling and packaging, he added.

“We are only just starting to scratch the surface, the opportunities
lie in the total supply chain,” he said. He added that the success
would be dependant on the marketing of the brand. “Brunei is already
known for its strict religious compliance and this is something we do
not need to introduce.”

Ghanim is already working with a number of companies to produce goods under the brand. Debbie Too