Of late, the Halal Industry has been moving along as business as usual, with the promise of the global Muslim population with its growth figures and rising demand for higher quality foods. The Muslim World has yet to catch up to the predominately non-Muslim West when it comes to Halal food production. This raises a simple question, why?
The simple answer is that they are so far behind that catching up will take some time but with the possibility of buying production capacity and established supply chains this is also a convenient excuse. The problem lies in the fact that producers in the Muslim World are yet to realize the financial advantage that Halal brings to the table.
Simply put, the cost of Halal certification is very low, in some countries just a few hundred Dollars, this will then allow companies to fetch a higher amount for their products, in effect increasing the margin on a product. This in turn makes in more profitable, which by definition makes the financial equation much more favourable. This reduction in risk should allow companies to raise capital or debt to increase production to meet demand. This raises the question, why are these companies falling short?
On a global level, the FAO estimates that USD 83 Billion per year of additional investments in food, agriculture and rural development are required for the world to feed its growing population in 2050 – in other words, investment needs to rise by 50 percent. While in a recent speech Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia stated that for “Transform Malaysia into a developed country by 2020. This requires total investments of US$444 billion and an annual growth of 6 per cent per annum … the plan will be private sector driven and account for 92 per cent of the total investments required”.
Moving forward the Muslim World as a responsibility to itself and the rest of the world need to develop plans to achieve “Sustainable Halal Food Security”, not just leading countries but all members of the global community need to focus on the important need for food security, investment understanding, trade development as a matter of future of political security.
To solve this problem, the Halal Food Industry & Islamic Sovereign Wealth need to come together to create a convergent of common interest that will drive sustainable development and the ensuing political security, especially in the Arab Middle-East. In the current scenario ASEAN countries have a unique value proposition that can only be unlocked with effective partnerships with the oil rich countries of the Middle East but do the countries involved have the ability to achieve these lofty goals or should it be driven from the private sector?
The Malaysia Global Business Forum will continue to explore this important relationship and how companies can take advantage of this trend. Also a key focus looking forward are the technical advances in the supply chain that are needed for Developing Countries to be able to create sustainable food security for current & future generations.
About the Author
Nordin Abdullah is an Australian entrepreneur with over two decades in Asia, the Organising Chairman of the Malaysia Global Business Forum and the Managing Director of Glenreagh Sdn. Bhd. a boutique consultancy firm based in Kuala Lumpur, to arrange a time to discuss how the team at Glenreagh can assist your contact [email protected] or [email protected]