BY SHAHANAAZ HABIB firstname.lastname@example.org
EVER heard of halal chinaware? Well, a Singapore company has had their china certified halal and the products are now in the market.
International sales manager of Landex Jimmy Chia explains that to achieve the translucent effect and lightness in fine bone china, manufacturers add ground animal bones.
“You need about 40% bones to make good quality chinaware. It’s mainly cow bones but it could come from a pig too. You wouldn’t know,” he says.
So what Landex has done is to employ a new Japanese technology that does not use bone or bone ash at all.
“We call ourselves “new bone” chinaware. A lot of people especially from the religious bodies were sceptical and said our china is new bone’ so it must have bones.
“So we went to the religious authorities and got it certified halal to prove that there are no bones in it and people can use it without hesitation,” Chia says in an interview.
“The quality is also there. It is translucent, light and durable,” he adds.
Landex was one of the exhibitors at the recently concluded Mihas exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, touted as the world’s largest halal trade fair.
The Singapore company, which has been in business for 60 years, set up a factory in China 20 years ago and has been doing “new bone” china for almost 18 years.
But it was only recently that it sought the halal certification.
Chia says they got the idea from a Muslim customer who knew that chinaware contained bones.
“He wanted to know if our new boneware had bones, and we said no. In that case, he said, he could buy it. So we saw something there that we could tap into.”
Landex subsequently applied for the halal certification in Singapore and also in Malaysia.
“We had these religious bodies come to audit our factory in China. They went through all our raw materials and equipment. Even the paint brush had to be halal certified to make sure it is not made from pig hair,” says Chia.
“They audited the factory from top to bottom and front to back before certifying it.”
Since Landex received its halal certification, its business has been growing fast, Chia says.
“The Malay population is more affluent now and a number of restaurants and cafes are converting to halal to tap into that market,” he adds.
Landex is targeting not just the Muslim market but also vegetarians and animal rights groups.
“We want them to be aware that we are on their side,” Chia says.
Other than Malaysia, Landex has started selling its china to Europe, the Middle East and Russia.
“We are getting a good stronghold in Europe and the Middle East. I believe other chinaware manufacturers too might follow us and have their products certified halal.”