Brunei-Australia Plan For World’s First International Halal Brand

Brunei-Australia Plan For World’s First International Halal Brand

By Neville D’Cruz

MELBOURNE, Nov 9 (Bernama) — The world’s first international halal
brand, which is expected to be launched by the middle of next year, is
being developed by the Brunei government with the involvement of
Australian food producers.

Brian Norwood, chairman of Elders International Australia Ltd, the
company that is co-ordinating the project in Australia, told Bernama
the brand would be carried by only those products that are
“unquestionably genuine halal”.

Norwood said Muslim religious leaders were concerned that a rising
proportion of food described as halal — especially produced by major
international food companies — may not be genuinely halal.

“There are a number of countries in which food is produced and
certified by appropriate authorities as halal. With a number of
different certifying countries and different certifying authorities
within those countries, there is some confusion about what is truly
halal product,” he said.

Norwood said the Brunei government officials believed these
developments would provide an opportunity for the country to introduce
a real halal brand into the international food market.

“They say Brunei is accepted among Muslims as being one of the leading true observers of the faith.

“Therefore they believe a Brunei halal food brand will be accepted by Muslims as being unquestionably genuine halal,” he said.

Norwood said halal was no longer a niche market.

“Within 10 years it will represent the required food and beverage for one-third of the world’s population.

“Major international food companies — Nestle, McDonald’s and
Kraft — recognise this and all have an increasing number of halal

“Retail chains, such as UK’s largest, Tesco, increasingly stock halal products,” he said.

Norwood said world halal food market was estimated to be worth
A$700 billion (A$1=RM3.07) a year, and had the potential to become the
largest market segment in the world.

However, he said, it was still not being serviced by any dedicated global brands.

He said the demand for a halal brand is not confined to food —
its applications included pharmaceuticals and cosmetics — nor to

“Apart from the obvious attraction to the Muslims, halal-branded products will also appeal to non-Muslims,” he said.

Norwood said the Brunei government’s move represented an
unprecedented opportunity for Australian businesses to gain access to a
growing global market through halal food production as well as
packaging, transport, storage, freight consolidation and investment

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

Elders, which is co-ordinating the project in Australia, is now
waiting for the Brunei Government to develop the brand and packaging,
along with a set of guidelines that producers will need to follow in
order to be accredited.

This is expected to be in place by February, which should allow
time for the range to be ready for an international halal food expo in
Brunei next August.

In the meantime, Norwood is keen to recruit Australian producers to join the project.

Norwood said the opportunities were significant.

“Halal will certainly become one of the largest food segments in
the world, if not the largest. For this reason, any company in the
international food industry should look seriously at the halal sector.

“A food company choosing to ignore this segment should do so only after careful consideration,” he said.