Monday, July 26, 2010

Trends in Frozen-refrigerated and Halal food

Analysts say that with the increase in frozen-refrigerated food consumerism globally, the cold chain sector, covering from sector of the cold chain,
from processing to warehousing to transportation to retail, is expected to experience growth in the next decade through 2020. It is estimated that the total
global temperature-controlled logistics market is currently worth US$80.66 billion. The global frozen food market is also expected to grow to $119.9 billion by 2012, an increase of 19.9% over the previous five years. A total of 40-50% of grocery retail goods come under this category.

The strategic focus for the retail sector is moving towards the emerging markets of Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and other CIS countries. This scenario offers significant market opportunity for cold chain players that are aggressive in these regions Two major markets for this sector are India and Vietnam. India's retail sector is expected to expand by 40 percent during the next three years. Along with this, a minimum of 340 million square feet warehousing, including refrigerated warehousing, will be needed by 2015 to accommodate growth. Vietnam today, with a GDP of 7.5%, resembles India approximately five years ago, where it boasts of individually-owned cold chain-related retail outlets.

The `halalʼ food industry, on the other hand, has always enjoyed a global market value of RM1.86 trillion (US$547 billion) a year. This is nearly 12% of total trade
in agri-food products. With the Muslim population projected to account for 30% of the world's population by 2025, Halal food could easily account for 20% of
world trade in food products in the future. Its current major markets in countries such as Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon,
Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE and Yemen, which have a total Muslim population of some 658 million people.

In Malaysia, the Malaysian Halal Standard MS 1500:2004, "Halal Food: Production, Preparation, Handling and Storage-General Guidelines" controls the way halal food is processed. It complies with both international standards, namely the Good Hygienic
Practice (GHP) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). This standard has received commendation from Codex Alimentarius Commission, a UN agency which is
responsible for regulations of food preparation globally.

The inspection process before the award of Halal certification is done by the Department of Islamic Development (JAKIM), where in 2007 it had managed
to process only 45% of the number of applications received, occasionally raising doubt about JAKIMʼs capability and whether the country is serious enough
about the halal market although a number of places have been identified and developed as Halal Food Industrial Zones, namely:

• Pulau Indah in Selangor
• Pedas Halal Park in Negeri Sembilan
• Serkam Pantai in Melaka
• Paya Pahlawan in Kedah
• Halal hub in Perak
• Gambang in Pahang

Infrastructure development for these halal parks will only be completed by end of this year. With this, Malaysia is well-poised to become the international
Halal Food Hub. The overall development of the halal industry is under the supervision of the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC). Currently, the HDC
has produced a programme known as the Halal Champions Programme, aimed at promoting strong local companies to be Malaysia's ʻhalal champions', which will set the benchmark and become role models. There are three training modules produced by HDC,
namely the Halal Awareness Program (HAP), the Halal Industry Program (HIP) and the Halal Professional Program (HPP).
While efforts have been intensified in the area of food processing, promotions need to be carried out at a larger scale to ensure that Malaysian food is
well-received worldwide.

MFBD 2009.

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