Brunei: Brunei Halal eyes Europe, Asia in big way

Apart from making its presence felt in the United Kingdom, Brunei Halal Brand is slowly but steadily spreading its wings across Asia and the region and also in Europe.

Brunei Halal Brand is all set to start production in Thailand and India, while it’s already doing so in Malaysia and Spain.

It is currently not focusing on entering the Japanese market, however, the Japanese market will remain a huge regional market that Brunei Halal Brand has to focus at some stage.

This was highlighted by Mr Noel Shield, Interim CEO of Ghanim International Foods Corporation Sdn Bhd, in an interview with the Bulletin yesterday on the sidelines of the 4th SME Workshop-F&B Products Export to Japan organised by Brunei Economic Development Board in collaboration with the Asean-Japan Centre aimed at encouraging more products to be exported to Japan.

The Interim CEO when asked if Brunei Halal Brand will enter the Japanese market, responded by saying, “Japan is not a market that we are focusing on, but it’s a huge regional market, it’s one that we have to focus at some stage.”

Currently, Brunei Halal Brand is heading towards the European market by penetrating into the UK market first.

He said, “The warehouse in UK is done and the first product will arrive in UK in May this year. We are looking at manufacturing in UK and the whole of Europe. It’s an ongoing process.

“The UK market caters to millions of Muslims. It’s an ideal market for us to work in because the people were not happy with the standard of accreditation there. The timing is right for us to go in with our quality standard Brunei Halal Brand, which will suit all the UK consumers,” he added.

In Asia, he said, “We are getting ready to start production in Thailand and India. We are already producing in Malaysia, Brunei and Spain. It’s all work in progress.”

Touching on the quality of safety in Brunei Halal Brand, he explained, “All manufacturers that we have, they all possess ISO and HACCP; we have got fairly tight control on standard for products and this combined with Halal standard makes Brunei Halal Brand of very high quality standard.”

Regarding the workshop yesterday, he said, “It gives us a brief snapshot of what is happening in the Japanese market and what the Brunei SMEs need to do to be Japan-ready.

“Looking at the information given today, 65 per cent of the focus in the Japanese market is on safety. We got to get ourselves into a position whereby we got to have an accreditation system which will guarantee the Japanese consumers that all the products and manufacturing process coming from Brunei are safe and free of contamination. From the raw material to the manufacturing warehouse to the time when the finished products goes out, we have to make sure that all the systems are of world standard.”

James Kon, Borneo Bulletin