News From : DagangHalal.com (13 Aug 2009)
DAVAO CITY – Food exporters and producers in Mindanao are urged to take a serious look at halal opportunities during the 2009 Mindanao Trade Expo that opens here today.
Ann T. Pamintuan, president of the Mindanao Trade Expo Foundation, an organizer of the event, said that although a Halal Brand Project has been established in Brunei, it still lack products that can be marketed globally.
“The minister of Trade and Industry of Brunei Darussalam is coming over to personally discuss this,” Ms. Pamintuan said.
“Participants in the discussion will get the chance to appreciate the halal project more and even snatch the opportunity to do business [with Brunei],” she said.
The Brunei Halal Brand is initiated by the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Islamic Religious Council, Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Ministry of Health.
In the project Web site (www.bruneihalal.gov.bn), one reads how the endeavor offers the credibility of Brunei Halal Certification.
It said the Brunei Halal Brand basically acts as a passport for businesses to penetrate into the lucrative world of halal industry, giving an opportunity to investors inside and outside Brunei through joint-venture agreements or foreign direct investments.
“[Brunei is] now looking for partners who can provide them with halal products. With that, Mindanao can be a potential producer and supplier of halal products,” Ms. Pamintuan said.
Brunei and Mindanao, she said, are already partners in economic development through the East ASEAN Growth Area, so it would be easier for both countries to come to an agreement and enable Mindanao exporters to supply a portion of the demand estimated from 1.5 to 1.8 billion Muslim consumers in over 100 countries.
“We just need to adopt the right marketing strategies in order to capture a share of the huge global halal market estimated to be at $580 billion to $1.2 trillion,” she said.
Government agencies are already in the process of amending the law governing halal to give teeth to the Philippine National Standards on Halal Food specified in Memorandum Order 201 issued by President Arroyo last year.
Led by the Department of Trade and Industry, the team also includes the Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, Department of Tourism, Department of Science and Technology, and the Office of Muslim Affairs.
Ustadz Esmael W. Ibrahim, managing director of the Muslim Mindanao Halal Certification Board, said only 11 products have so far been certified as halal in Mindanao. These products are produced in Zamboanga del Sur, Butuan City in Agusan del Norte, and in Tagum City in Davao del Norte.
But Mr. Ibrahim said they face difficulty in policing restaurants and fastfood chains outside of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao that supposedly offer halal food but have not been certified by the board, the main body comprising the country’s leading muftis, or Muslim scholars, and food experts that has the authority to accredit products and establishments.
BY JOEL B. ESCOVILLA, Correspondent
Source: BusinessWorld Online