KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s integrity in its economy and halal industry is attracting Australian companies to engage with Malaysian entrepreneurs, said Halal Development Corporation Bhd (HDC).
Its chief commercial officer Adly Mohamed said several Australian companies have expressed their keen interest to work with the HDC in order to reach out to Malaysian small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) and leverage each other’s business capabilities.
“HDC will chart the path for our halal industry players, particularly the SMEs, to be connected to our list of local and international companies, including those from Australia, via the Halal Integrated Platform (HIP).
“The Australian companies are also interested in working with the HDC on business-to-business (B2B) engagements with our local SMEs,” he told Bernama during a recent interview.
Through these B2B engagements, Adly said Malaysian SMEs will be able to explore opportunities to export halal goods and ingredients (for food and non-food industries), including halal finished goods and semi-processed products to Australia for the production and distribution of halal-certified products.
“I believe that our SMEs will also have the opportunity to access potential halal markets in the Asia Pacific through our partnership with them, and thus expand our global business footprint exponentially,” he said.
Aside from providing opportunities for local SMEs to penetrate and leverage Australian markets, the HDC is also collaborating with the Islamic Coordinating Council of Victoria (ICCV), a renowned halal certification body in Australia through the HDC’s Halal Apprentice Programme (HAP).
Through the HAP, the HDC is expected to provide job placements for 200 Malaysian talents in two specialised fields, namely, the slaughtering of animals and food technology.
“We send our talents to Australia so that they can study the Australian market and its technologies over a period of two years.
“When they come back to Malaysia, they will be able to share their on-the-job experience and technology-related knowledge,” said Adly, adding that the collaboration would create a very highly skilled workforce for Malaysia as the participants would be well-versed in the technological advances in their fields.
During a recent visit to ICCV and several Australian companies, the writer observed that aside from being well-equipped with the latest technology, the companies’ product processing facilities also adhered to high-level halal integrity standards.
“For example, Cedar Meat Australia’s slaughterhouse is equipped with a very efficient, modern and up-to-date system, and their halal integrity is practised at every level – before, during and after the slaughtering process.
“Even the trucks that carry their goods are always inspected and cleaned before they load. Australia is truly the best benchmark for meat production in the world,” said Adly.
Cedar Meat Australia’s general manager Tony Kairouz said he was ready to share his knowledge on the latest technology used by the slaughterhouse, as well as his over 30 years of experience in designing, building and commissioning abattoir facilities with other countries, including Malaysia.
“Cedar Meat Australia is ever willing to provide such know-how to Malaysia or anywhere else in the world. I’d be very privileged and honoured to be able to do this,” he said.
In addition to having the technology that can increase halal-meat production capacity and integrity, Kairouz said animal welfare, hygiene and sanitation of halal products and facilities also need to be emphasised to ensure that halal principles are continuously adhered to and maintained all the time.
“There is no compromise in investing in halal processing. Everything must be done according to the procedure to get 100 per cent halal end-product,” he said.
Commenting on the alleged violations of halal slaughtering procedures by an Australian company, Kairouz said Cedar Meat Australia and other companies were also affected by the news.
“We got painted and tarred with the same brush, which was really hurtful for us. We have been paying so much attention to the halal process so we do not like to be categorised based on what others had done.
“This is why we are so happy to share our experience with HDC, as it is important for us to showcase our capacity, capabilities, technology and our halal integrity to give Malaysia confidence as Malaysia has become the ‘Mecca of halal standards’.
“We are very proud to be associated with and helping in some small way to demonstrate the importance of halal integrity,” he added. – BERNAMA