Moutaz Abdullat, Ferrero Gulf Countries General Legal Counsel told the International Halal Industry Forum that: “Our halal journey began in 2009 with two plants being certified. By 2016-17, the number reached 14 and by 2019-20, 19 plants are expected to be halal-certified. In 2009, only four products were halal-certified. In 2018, 33 have the certification.”
Speaking to Salaam Gateway, he added that: “We have only few factories that are not certified. In two or three years all our factories will be halal.”
It was also reported that currently, Ferrero has 33 products and 19 plants that are already halal-certified. The company’s website stated that as of August 31 2018, it had consolidated 94 companies and 25 operating manufacturing plants globally. This means that only six factories are currently not yet halal-ceritifed.
Abdullat added that halal certification is highly demanded by consumers in countries such as Muslim-majority nation Indonesia.
“We, as a company, anticipated halal. We knew that we need to do this now or later. We started the process and did it globally,” added Abdullat.
“We are living in a small world. This (halal) pays off the investment.”
Ferrero growth worldwide
Ferrero released its FY2017/2018 financial statements earlier this month, revealing consolidated sales of EUR10.7bn (US$12.2bn) up to the day of August 30, a 2.1% increase as compared to the previous year.
“The sales of finished products increased by 3.5% (6.8% at constant rates) were driven principally by Germany, France, Italy, Poland, UK and the USA,” the company said via an official press release.
Top brands driving the net sales growth included Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, Kinder Joy, Kinder Bueno and Kinder Chocolate.
Ferrero acquired the chocolate confectionary arm of Nestle USA in March last year, which led to brands such as Butterfinger, BabyRuth and Crunch falling under the company’s umbrella in the United States.
After a suspension in operations at it Nutella production facility in Normandy, France earlier this year on February 19 over a suspected quality defect, Ferrero restarted operations just this week on February 25.
Via a statement, the company said that ‘no finished product stored at the factory presented neither health risk nor lack of quality’ after investigations were concluded.
The Normandy plant is Ferrero’s largest Nutella factory globally, producing around a third of its Nutella jars worldwide.
According to Ferrero, the halt was called due to a quality issue.
“After reading the results of one of the quality checks at our Villers-Ecalles factory, we noticed a quality defect in one of the semi-finished products used in the manufacturing of our products Nutella and Kinder Bueno,” the company had said via a statement.
It also told Reuters that the suspension was ‘precautionary’, and that ‘For now, [none] of our products currently on the market are affected by the situation.”