UK: Brunei Halal Brand’s UK facility to be ready in January 2012

Goh De No

THE Brunei Halal Brand’s base in Birmingham, United Kingdom, to push sales and distribution in the country and Europe, is set to be completed by the January 2012.

Noel Shield, chief executive officer of Brunei Wafirah Holdings Sdn Bhd, the company that owns of the Brunei Halal Brand, said that the facilities will be ready early next year and will play an instrumental part for distributing goods all over the UK.

“Birmingham is a hub for the Muslim community (there) and currently, the warehouse there is being fitted out, and we’ve just started looking for staff for the UK office,” Shield told The Brunei Times in a telephone conversation.

The CEO said that Saltley Business Park in Birmingham, will be the warehouse for the brand, but besides the UK, there are also plans to enter other parts of Europe.

“But we need a platform to start with,” he added.

The Bruneian company signed a five-year lease contract for a 25,000-sq feet unit at the business park, and will create 30 new jobs.

Dr Mohammad Nazir OBE, chief executive of Brunei Halal’s UK office, previously said that they looked at a number of options for the sales and distribution base in the region, and that Saltley Business Park provided an excellent match to their search criteria.

Dr Mohammad, who was appointed as CEO of Brunei Wafirah Holdings Sdn Bhd’s subsidiary in August 2011, was brought on to take charge Brunei Wafirah UK Ltd.

“Brunei Halal’s dry food product range is vast covering biscuits, snacks and crisps, confectionary and noodles. The appeal of certified Halal products has increased significantly over recent years and we see significant potential to grow our brand across Europe,” he said in an earlier statement.

In June this year, Shield said that they were opening their doors for interested candidates to be part of the brand’s global expansion programme.

He said: “The UK and European markets were identified as potential growth regions for the Brunei Halal brand and the establishment of an office and distribution facility in the UK will provide a solid platform for growth across these markets.”

The CEO hoped that a percentage of the employees in the UK subsidiary will be made up of Bruneians, and jobs on offer will spread across the board, from Information Technology (IT) to accounting to marketing and so on.

“This provides a good opportunity for these young Bruneians to obtain overseas exposure and to bring this wealth of commercial experience and knowledge gained back to Brunei,” said Shield.

The Brunei Halal Brand was initiated in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources.

The brand is proof of the Sultanate’s commitment to progress towards diversification and sustainability of the economy by tapping into the halal market, which Brunei already has an advantage in.

Brunei Halal Accreditation starts at the source, and only producers that meet the standards of halal and the high quality and safety associated with it will be awarded the Brunei Halal Certification label.

The Brunei Times