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Monday, 24 December 2007

Malaysia emerging as halal food hub


Greater awareness by the world Muslim communities for halal foods and government vision to make Malaysia as the halal food hub of the world are providing opportunities for major players such as Prima Agri Products to establish a niche market for their products.
Prima Agri-Products Sdn.Bhd., established in 1987, is a true blue local venture to make it into the big league of food manufacturers. From a modest beginning, today, Prima is the proud owner of several modern processing plants equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and machines.
A serious approach towards the use of these latest equipment, facilities and production technologies account for the company being a major force in the processing and manufacturing of meat and meat-based products. The interplay of a sound customer-oriented outlook and other factors have all attributed to the company’s emergence as a premier food company within a short time, says Dr. Mohamad Nordin Bin Mohamad Nor, advisor, based in Malaysia. Major factors
The major factors that make Prima stand out in the crowd include an impressive range of quality halal products, a focussed approach to its marketing operations and its employment of superior techniques, including its conformity to a central butchering concept .
The Bandar Baru Bangi headquartered food processing company manufactures over 500 tested and proven halal food products, of which about 100 are propriety items belonging to international fast food chains and restaurants.
The company, he claims, has managed to restructure and substitute non-halal raw materials without sacrificing taste and texture.
Seeing the international competition, Prima has stabled specific strategies. It is ready to take on the huge business conglomerates with excellent networking towards consumer market and is also well prepared to handle the international brand owners, aggressively marketing their brands but lack authentic credible halal certification. Dr. Nor agrees that due to competitive pricing and high production cost, food quality of products has reduced. Market player
The MNCs are also using “ border barriers” restrictions, for example, higher import duty, protocols and established networking.
Prima is a niche market player focused on institutional and food service markets. It is capitalising on successful brand owners by contract manufacturing in a halal accredited environment, offers opportunities for the company to access new markets . It is countering competitive pricing with low production cost and yet offering better food quality products. It has in-depth knowledge, understanding and innovativeness on “under the lines” protocols, he says.
Prima is developing a 40-hectare land in Gambang near Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia into Prima Halal Food Park to increase production from 25 metric tonne per day to 230 mt per day. The food park is one of the halal food parks endorsed by the Ministry of Agriculture in Malaysia. --(TH, 24 Dec 07)

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