- Write about yourself and your organization, Please?
My self Zuraimi Jumaat I am the Vice President of Ever Rich Pte Ltd, subsidiary, Neo Group Limited and manages the Halal Supply Chain for Ever Rich subsidiary, ER Marketing (S) Pte Ltd. We are Singapore’s major importer/exporter and wholesaler of frozen chicken, meats, vegetables, dry condiments, frozen seafood and various range for raw ingredients supplying to Halal sector in Singapore. We specialize in one-stop Halal ingredients solution and Halal consultancy for Singapore market and international certification to facilitate food supply chain globally.
I formerly from the Halal Certification Strategic Unit of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore and Warees Halal Limited. I experiences over companies in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand, China, Japan, Taiwan, Croatia, Russia, Middle-East, South Africa and Canada.
I was co-Founder and IP Holder for ASEAN strategy to Haebara Breed, an Industry 4.0 technology focusing on non-GMO poultry breeds without antibiotics nor vaccination, first prototype implemented in Myanmar.
- What is the concept of Halal Supply Chain in food sector?
The importance of establishing laboratories and using analytical techniques of validating authenticity in halal food production for ensuring food safety and protecting consumers from fraud and deception is necessary across the concept of Halal Supply Chain in food sector.
It’s important to bear in mind that even though a company has been Halal certified it is also required to have a global food safety certification (such as FSSC 22000, HACCP 22000, BRC, IFS or SQF, etc.). Halal certification is not viewed as an equivalency. Traceability software can be extremely useful in streamlining the certification process and managing food safety regulations. Once a food company is certified, a symbol of approval with letter scripture can be fixed to the top of the product that signifies it as Halal.
Malaysia is a good example here for us to learn from on their building for capacity of knowledge, manpower capability and standard for governance to uphold global responsibility in this area. Perhap, we should come together and strengthen this foundation within ASEAN.
- What are the challenges / Issues of Halal Supply Chain on Halal Integrity?
My personal observation for the main concern and challenges for halal businesses is the absence of a unified certification system, which presents bottlenecks for halal businesses, and ultimately impedes cross-border halal trade.
(1) A lack of unification of a halal certification system poses challenges for companies operating in the halal space. Due to the lack of recognition between halal certification bodies, companies that export to different markets would need to gain and maintain multiple halal certifications to fulfil the requirements of the certifying bodies in each exporting market.
(2) The industry has expanded across many other markets and regions outside of the Middle East this is reflected especially in Asia. For example, in an effort to expand their domestic Halal industry, China has moved to improve trade with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation countries through its “One Belt One Road” initiative.
(3) The international market also benefits from the Halal market as there is almost always a Muslim community that has a need for Halal products in a country. In many local communities, It is thought that not all Halal logos are legitimate, so having well-known and trusted Halal certifications can help in the long run for businesses.
- Could you please specify, how to surmount the problems of Halal Supply Chain?
The formula is to begin within our own territory that is critical for our survival in an efficient way to do it is by enhancing trust and relationships. Connecting to the Global Halal Market with 25% of world population are Muslim should be gateway. Various key initiatives to spur the halal economy within ASEAN countries are exemplary and has contributed to the growing halal businesses in ASEAN.
Malaysia’s Halal market was valued at USD1.9 billion in 2013. A crucial contributor to the country’s economic growth, the Halal industry is projected to contribute up to 5.8 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2020, up from 2 per cent in 2013. And I believe they will achieve the target despite the onset of Covid-19.
The country with the world’s largest Muslim population is, unsurprisingly, a huge Halal product market, estimated at USD10 billion annually in 2013 and seeing annual growth of 7-10 per cent.
Thailand has become the world’s fifth largest Halal food producer – it has a 5.6 per cent share of the global Halal food market, valued at USD5 billion annually. The Thai’s government’s continued efforts to strengthen the Halal industry resulted in the establishment of the Halal Standard Institute.
In short, a Halal Supply Chain without creation for volumes and consolidation for Halal ingredients will be challenging to organize and serve global Halal community with a dedicated supply chain.
- How might Halal Supply Chain contribute to a Nation’s Economy?
First, build a holistic halal ecosystem that believe investing in talents and knowledge-creation and to empower skills-development in areas of food safety, halal auditing, product authentication, sales process automation, and supply chain management. We need to train more halal managers and create employment opportunities to build further the halal ecosystem.
For instance, trained talents from Singapore will be able to work with other international halal certification bodies by leveraging resources in terms of talent development, international market branding, research and development (R&D), international linkages, and our reputation.
Second, Halal authenticity shall not only begin from downstream of supply chain for many instances that we are familiar with. It is also known fact that Muslims community globally are never the food producers for our own consumption.
In order to be a Muslim community that contribute to a Nation’s Economy, we must allocate our resources and intelligence growing supplies from the upstream of the Halal Supply Chain and controls the food safety and Halal integrity from the source for food origin in order to complete a holistic vertical from upstream to downstream of Halal Supply Chain.
- What are your views about Genetically Modified feed, is it permissible to use in animal feed in accordance with Islam?
As a co-Founder to Haebara Breeds technology, it’s a global ambition to provide an alternative Haebara chicken without the use of antibiotics nor chemical injections. Chicken breeds in SEA countries today are, if not all, mostly GMO (Genetically Modified Organism), because the cost of non-GMO chickens are typically 2-3 times more expensive.
Others also have non-gmo chickens too like us, and some are now exercising no use of anti-biotics to communicate with the end consumers. But they couldn’t take off their oxygen mask off from the use of chemical vaccination. All Haebara chickens are non-gmo, and grow with no anti-biotics and no vaccination while keeping competitive mortality rate. This is reason why our chicken has nick name too- “halal chicken”.
However, in this global poultry industry, it’s never easy to implement such strategy while approval to import new breed, is a long processing without validation of chemical injections. Haebara was only successful in Myanmar for prototype programme.
For Muslim community, we too need to look at the current situation and challenges facing this global poultry industry.
- Mention your thoughts about future of Halal Industry.
Benchmarking a successful case of Food Valley in Netherlands, for example, we can be so called “Halal Valley” as it is in Silicon Valley in the US, to ascertain the New Future of Halal Industry. What started small around Wageningen University for Research in Netherlands now has annual revenue of $70 billion USD along with global food companies in Netherlands such as Nestle, Unilever, Heineken, Heinz, and others.
How would Halal Valley look like to the New Future of Halal Industry:
- Halal Economic Research
- Halal Environmental Research
- Halal Bioveterinary Research
- Halal Livestock Research
- Halal Food & Biobased Research
- Halal Plant Research
- Halal Marine Research
- Halal Academy
- Halal Centre for Development Innovation
- Halal Food Safety Research
- Halal Traceability & Verification System
If only global Industry Halal players can come together to develop this New Future of Halal Industry, we will create a new chapter to the rise of Muslim leadership in the global Halal Economy.