By Nabilah Haris
‘THE Brunei Halal brand has the potential to break into the global food industry given Brunei’s efforts in pushing and marketing its food products and services outside of the Sultanate,’ said the Chief Executive Officer of Saahtain Foods.
During a panel discussion held at the International Food and Biotech Investment Conference yesterday, Adeel Khan said that there is still a vast amount of work to be done to achieve this but it also translates into opportunities.
“How many halal brands are in the top 100 global food brands? Zero. This explains the opportunity but it also explains the need to do something,” he said.
“There is a need to grow organic halal brands either coming out of countries from the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) or those that are non-OIC,” added Saahtain Foods’ CEO.
According to its website, Saahtain Foods is a Dubai based producer of 100 per cent halal meals ready to eat with 100 per cent halal nutrients.
In the case of Brunei, Khan said that the country has been making the right strides in reaping the available opportunities available at a global scale.
The Brunei Halal brand stands as a good example of ‘innovative quality’ explained the CEO.
“What does it mean to innovate quality? I would cite Brunei Halal as one of the main initiatives in innovating quality,” he said.
He explained that the International Food and Biotech Investment Conference, the Bio-Innovation Corridor and the Brunei Halal brand brings together different forms and levels of expertise in various fields and that is what innovating quality stands for.
“This is innovating quality and I think Brunei Halal is doing very well,” he said.
Besides innovating quality, Khan said halal food brands must also think of building an empire that is capable of competing with what is already available in the market.
“I believe we must (try) to build an empire and create a brand globally, not just regionally. There are very good brands in Malaysia and Saudi and other places but as a halal brand, we need to think globally like we are creating an empire,” he said.
“We also need to compete. Noor -Vitamins is an example. The vitamins and supplement market is a multi-billion dollar industry globally and it is hugely competitive with major dominant partners, conglomerates and other companies that are already well established,” explained Khan.
He explained that Noor Vitamins – a division of Noor Pharmaceuticals that specialises in developing halal vitamins and supplements – had only been established for four years but decided to take a big step into the industry.
“That is the only way to be in the top 100 and somebody has to start now because it is a long task,” he said.
The Brunei Times
Brunei Darussalam and the United Arab Emirates, UAE, recognized the shared interest to enhance friendly cooperation between the Participants on the development of the halal food protection plant and facilities within the Bio-Innovation Corridor.
The agreement included in the “Letter of Intent” signed by both countries at the International Food and Biotech Investment Conference 2015.
The Letter of Intent signed between the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources and Saahtain Food, Dubai, desiring to promote cooperation through implementing activities in the fields of Halal food production that would lead to mutual benefits on economic development of the Participants. The signing was witnessed by Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources. On behalf of the Ministry was signed by Haji Sabri bin Haji Mohd Taha, the Head of Halal Industry Innovation Centre, meanwhile Mr Adeel Khan, the Chief Executive Officer of Saahtain Food, represented the company.
The event followed with the Key Note Presentation “Islamic Finance” from Mansoor Shakil, Director Fajr Capital. The objectives of an Islamic Economic system are among matters explained during the presentation. This include key economic objectives which revolve around the concept of welfare of human beings and these are in line with the objectives of Islamic law.