Canadian Halal consortium hopes to hit it big

Local food companies band together to break into Middle Eastern market

may sound a bit like trying to sell fur coats in the Caribbean, but an
Edmonton company is part of a consortium that has just opened an office
in Dubai to sell Halal (Islam approved) foods in the Middle East.

don’t expect results overnight, but our research shows us Canadian
products, especially beef and chicken, are highly regarded there,” says
Noorudin Jiwani, owner of Aliya’s Foods in Sherwood Park.

“And having a person there working on our behalf is important.”

plan is to also introduce the region to exotic Alberta meats such as
bison and elk, and with the global Halal market estimated to exceed $1
trillion US by 2010, the sooner you get into it the better.

which produces samosas and prepared Indian dinners at two plants in the
area under the Chef Bombay brand, is part of a group called Prairie
Halal Foods.

It includes Lilydale, Canadian Rangeland Beef and
Bison Inc. of Rimbey, Calgary meat processor New Food Classics, The
Meat Grinder Ltd. of Edmonton, Canadian Premium Meats, a
Halal-certified slaughter plant at Wolf Creek, and Prairie Heritage
Beef, a group of ranchers producing “natural” beef.

consortium is supported by the Alberta Livestock Industry Development
Fund, and general manager Wahid Kandil is a former ALIDF employee.

says each company may not be able to fill a container with products by
themselves, but together they can. And Dubai is a good place to start
because the United Arab Emirates has a large population of Indian

The group expects to make inroads in other countries
such as Kuwait and Egypt, and Jiwani eventually plans to crack the huge
U.K. appetite for Indian food.