A smartphone app to verify the halal status of food products, ‘Verify Halal’ has added India and South Africa in its database, allowing consumers and retailers to instantly check the halal integrity of any product between the two countries and Malaysia.
Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Nogeh Gumbek said the app is not only approved by Malaysia’s Islamic Development Department (Jakim), but also provides information on other certified halal products offered by foreign halal certification bodies that are recognised worldwide.
“When it (application) was launched in May this year, the application was already equipped with a huge data pool of products.
“These products have Jakim-standard compliances from 66 halal certification bodies from 40 countries,” he said after the opening ceremony of 18th Malaysian International Food & Beverage Trade Fair 2017 today.
He said previously, the app can be used by consumers in Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia.
“To date, there are 152,065 halal products from food, beverage, pharmaceutical and body care that have been listed in the application.” he said.
The ‘Verify Halal’ app was first launched for Android mobile phone users on May 26, 2017. It will now be made available to iOS platform users.
The developer, Serunai Commerce chief executive officer Amnah Shaari said the application now has close to 10,000 downloads since the launch.
“We hope with the launch for iOS users, it will be able to reach out to more consumers.”
Meanwhile, on the fair, Nogeh said it was to help the food and beverage industry players.
“There are a variety of opportunities for growing food and beverage businesses,” he said and called for Malaysian entrepreneurs to get involved in the food trade industry.
“It is highly lucrative as the human population increases every other day,” he said.
He added that at present, Malaysia still relies heavily on food imports, despite being blessed with land and natural resources.
He said from January to October last year, the food imports were recorded at RM38.1 billion, while exports for the same period were only at RM24.3 billion.
The fair organiser, Sphere Exhibits Malaysia said this year, the fair expect to generate a trade value of USD450 million (RM1.9 billion) compared to USD360 million (RM1.5 billion) last year.
Its chairman Chua Wee Phong said: “This year’s MIFB focuses on ready to eat, food ingredients, health and organic as well as halal food.
“We are excited to collaborate with Halal Media Japan for the inaugural International Halal Food Village, which will host food products from Japan, South Korea and Indonesia.
“This further promotes Malaysia’s position as the leading Global Halal Hub in Asia.” he said.