Malaysia leads halal economy
07 Jul 2023
MALAYSIA’S expertise in halal certification, governance and best practices has positioned the country as a leader for others to look up to, according to Halal Development Corporation Bhd (HDC) chairman Khairul Azwan Harun.
He told the New Straits Times Malaysia remained a benchmark for other countries seeking to establish strong halal standards because of its extensive experience and robust halal framework.
HDC recently awarded 20 organisations and personalities for their outstanding contributions to the growth of the halal industry during its World Halal Excellence Awards 2022 (WHEA 2022).
As part of HDC’s World Halal Business Conference (WHBC), the annual awards recognise and honour exceptional achievements by halal industry players in making Malaysia the global top performer in the US$3 trillion market.
More than 200 individuals, organisations and companies have been awarded by HDC since the introduction of the WHEA in 2009.
Speaking about the awards ceremony, Khairul Azwan emphasised Malaysia’s dedication to maintaining its position at the forefront of the global halal economy.
He commended the winners for their exemplary contributions and underscored the country’s commitment to unbiased selection processes.
“The recipients and winners were chosen through an assessment and evaluation by independent auditors.
“That means the selection was done without any bias.
“Those who were chosen will be the role models and exemplary companies that others can look up to and emulate.”
Khairul Azwan also highlighted the importance of incorporating additional factors, such as environmental, social and governance considerations, into the halal standards.
He gave the assurance that HDC would continue to collaborate closely with the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) and the Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia to strengthen halal standards and facilitate better compliance among companies.
“The winners are already in the halal economy by virtue of their products and services.
“Winning is one thing, but from here they will definitely be able to take their products and services to larger halal markets globally,” he said.
The top two categories in the WHEA 2022 are the Halal State Performance Excellence Award and the Halal Leadership Excellence Award.
Other categories are the Halal Entrepreneur SME Excellence Award, Halal Corporate Excellence Award, Halal Financial Excellence Award, Halal Prominent Brand Excellence Award, Halal Food and Beverages Excellence Award, Halal Logistics Excellence Award, Halal Innovation Excellence Award, Halal Healthcare Excellence Award, Halal International Business Excellence Award and Halal Franchise Excellence Award.
The winner of the Halal Food and Beverages Excellence Award — Ajinomoto (Malaysia) Bhd — was recognised for its commitment to producing halal-certified products.
Its head of corporate affairs, Zulkefli Kasri, said the company, established in Malaysia in 1961, had played a pivotal role in shaping the local halal industry.
“We are very proud and glad to have won this award. It motivates us to be more proactive in producing high-quality halal products for the world,” he said.
Zulkefli attributed the company’s success to the continuous support and motivation provided by government bodies such as HDC, Jakim and the Investment, International Trade and Industry Ministry.
He said as the company looked to the future, it remained dedicated to producing exceptional halal products and contributing to the advancement of the global food business.
During the award ceremony, local ice cream producer Doluvo Sdn Bhd (Pops Malaya) was honoured with the Halal SME Excellence Award as the company had demonstrated business resiliency and financial sustainability through strategic and tactical planning.
On the company’s commitment to halal certification, chief executive officer Rose Yasmin Abdul Karim said halal went beyond simply having a product that was permissible for Muslims. It was also about trust and integrity.
“Winning the award means building a stronger brand reputation for our company.
“We got our halal certification in 2016, the same year the company was incorporated, and then fast forward to 2022, thanks to the halal certification, it has opened doors to many markets,” she said.
Rose Yasmin noted that Doluvo exported to six Gulf Cooperation Council member countries as well as non-Muslim countries like Germany, Australia and the United States.
She encouraged small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to explore halal certification, assuring them that it was accessible and affordable.
“Sometimes people think that having a halal certification is cost prohibitive because they feel that there’s a lot of expensive infrastructure involved.
“But truth be told, that is not the case. This is because Jakim is very helpful and the entire halal ecosystem, such as companies and agencies like HDC, provide a lot of support in terms of training.”
Leveraging HDC’s comprehensive offerings and services in the halal industry development, the winners of WHEA 2022 received trophies along with opportunities to benefit from HDC programmes.
They will also be part of the industry representative panel discussing business challenges and channelling industry insights to policymakers and ministers, as well as be known as WHEA Winners’ Elite Group and promoted within HDC’s network globally.
HDC will also organise the World Halal Business Conference Circuit 2023 (WHBCC) in London, the United Kingdom.
Hosted by the Investment, Trade and Industry Ministry, WHBCC
2023 is scheduled to be held on Oct 23-24.
WHBCC 2023 will focus on strategic business initiatives that encompass three pillars, namely, investment promotion, quality employment and trade negotiation.
The circuit is expected to be a powerful opportunity for sponsors, partners and supporters to position themselves as leaders in the halal ecosystem while moving forward in their respective businesses.