A brief tour around Asia-Pacific for the latest halal news
Fast food operators in Australia, a country that has seen its Muslim population soar by 40% over the last five years, are increasingly implementing halal practices at their restaurants.
Eight McDonalds stores in Sydney and four in Melbourne are now offering halal food, while three KFC restaurants have gone halal to the point that they have taken bacon off the menu.
Each of the restaurants is located in areas with significant Muslim populations and those still offering pork products have implemented the segregation of storage and preparation required by Islamic law, say their operators.
A Queensland agricultural entrepreneur has developed a piece equipment that he says will lead to a more comfortable slaughter for animals.
The Hydraulic Halal Restraint Box, designed by Gary Stark, and engineer and regular inventor, was made for export to abattoirs in Indonesia where, he says, slaughtermen’s handling skills are not up to scratch.
The device features a rubber cushion support with body and head restraints that contribute to keeping the animal relaxed. The restraint has now been passed for use by halal authorities in the country’s slaughter houses.
The Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process, which oversees the reintegration of Muslim secessionists from the southern province of Mindanao, has called on school canteens to offer halal meals as a means to boost inclusivity and diversity.
“How much of our food is halal? This is what we realise when we have some of our Muslim friends come over, they can’t eat anything at the cafeteria,” said Jennifer Oreta, the office’s assistant secretary at an educators’ conference.
“So again, we talk about inclusivity. We talk about non-discrimination. Sometimes we look at them as trivial but these are actually big issues.”
Crown Confectionery has been named the first Korean snack company to have been granted halal certification. With Singapore Muis Halal standards met across four of its lines, the company is preparing to export to Islamic countries.
Starting in July, Crown will begin exporting the products first to Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia, and later to Muslim communities in the United States and Europe.
Having identified majority-Muslim countries as its focus for export promotion campaigns, Taiwan is expecting to increase its halal shipments across the second-half of this year.
“The Ministry of Economic Affairs has identified daily consumer items as key export [halal] items for these markets,” a cabinet official told Taiwan Today, adding that efforts will also be made to attract Islamic tourists and investors to Taiwan.
MOEA statistics revealed that more than 100 local firms are certified by the Taiwan Halal Integrity Development Association. “The ministry will assist these businesses in product development and marketing campaigns,” the official added.
A senior official has called for a joint-venture between Malaysia and Pakistan to tap into international halal opportunities and foster greater bilateral trade.
“We will set up a Malaysia-Pakistan halal corporation to promote and sell halal products all over the world,” said Business Council chairman Mohamad Salim Fateh Din, adding that more bilateral trade in halal products could help in networking and enhancing the council’s presence in both countries.
He also said it is time for Pakistani businessmen to devise innovations in halal as a means to level out trade between the two countries, which is worth US$2bn, but is weighted heavily in Malaysia’s favour.
A Malaysian shrimp producer will invest RM375m (US$120m) as part of the government’s Economic Transformation Programme to help develop Malaysia as a leading shrimp producer in the global halal market.
JEFI Aquatech Resources will collaborate with local and foreign experts to enhance Malaysia’s aquaculture industry by improving production through biotechnology.
The project consists of a large scale R&D centre, high-productivity hatchery centres, 800-hectare shrimp farm, frozen and dried seafood processing facilities and a high-capacity cold storage warehouse.