Mindanao exporters urged to boost halal food production

BRUNEI officials urged Mindanao exporters on Friday to boost halal
food production as it has already become a lucrative business.

In a forum dubbed as “Mindanao Looks Beyond the Global Crisis” at
the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in Davao City Friday, Brunei
Agriculture Department of the Industry and Primary Resources Ministry
acting director Hjh Normah Suria Hayati informed participants that
halal food has potential markets abroad, yet supply has been falling

The forum was organized by the Philippine Exporters Confederation
Inc., through the cooperation of the Davao Trade and Industry (DTI) in
Southern Mindanao, and one of the highlights of the Mindanao Trade Expo
2009, which will be concluded Sunday.

Hayati said they have been touring the globe for the past months, promoting the Brunei Halal Brand.

Ghanim International Food Corp. interim CEO Noel Shield said that
aside from promoting Bunei’s own halal food, they also encouraged
producers in the country to export their own halal food.

“There’s nothing to prevent you from exporting your products (in
Brunei). When you export your goods, they will be re-audited and
checked if they have halal certification. So long as you build a market
then return of money is guaranteed,” Shield said.

Shield recently announced that Ghanim is seeking to conduct business
with halal food exporters from Mindanao to sell their products under
the Brunei Halal brand.

Shield said Ghanim is aiming for companies in the UK, Middle East and Europe.

Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap also promoted halal production to Mindanao entrepreneurs.

“There is no stopping for entrepreneurs to export halal food so long as they are halal certified,” Yap said.

Yap said the government has been “harmonizing” the agriculture sector to adjust to potential market outside the country.

“We’re moving into rationalizing with halal food, we’ve been very
careful for it also involves legal matters. But as far as exporting,
there’s no stopping producers from doing so,” Yap said.