KUCHING: Food producers in the state must take advantage of the growing demand for halal food worldwide.
Industrial Development Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said halal food sales had reached RM2.3tril worldwide and RM190bil nationwide.
He believed venturing into halal food production was the right step to take as the world market for halal food is growing by great leaps and bounds.
Halal, in the Arabic language, refers to anything that is lawful under Islam for Muslims to engage in. Its opposite is haram, meaning unlawful.
Halal foods are those prepared or processed according to acceptable practices under Islamic law.
Tengah, who is also Resource Planning and Environment Minister, said the state government had foreseen the potentials of halal food markets and because of that it had opened up a halal hub in Tanjong Manis.
He said the state had so far invested RM1.37bil to put up the infrastrcuture and facilities in the area, which covered an area of about 77,000 hectares.
“I urge our local food producers as well our rural community to venture into halal food production.
“Today, the race to the halal industry is not just based on religion but also on its business potential,” he said.
The minister has his point, as even food giants like Nestlé, Unilever, McCormick, A&W and McDonald’s, to name some, have added halal-compliant products to their lines.
Also, each country has also capitalised on its best produce.
New Zealand, for example, has half of its beef volume and all its lamb meat halal-certified.