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MDBC Business Brief, 4th Quarter 2005

Prima Agri-Products Leader In Halal Foods

  (From left to right)
Arno van de Pas, Hennie Coenraad and Ahmad Nadzer Idris with part of Prima's product range.

Prima Agri-Products Sdn Bhd has firmly established itself as a Malaysian producer of quality halal food products. Prima has been in the downstream activities of processing and manufacturing halal foods focusing on delicatessen range of products since 1987 when it was founded by CEO Dato' Jamaluddin A. Kadir.

It is the first and only establishment in the Malaysia approved by the European Commission for export of processed and cooked poultry products to the EU. Several other certifications which Prima has obtained include the Malaysian JAKIM halal recognition, Department of Veterinary Services, HACCP from the Ministry of Health and ISO 9001:2000 by RWTIV, GmbH.

Prima has a databank of over 500 tested and proven halal food products, 100 of which are propriety items belonging to international fast food chains and restaurants. Licensed products through contract manufacturing are prepared for clients such as Pizza Hut, Domino's, Delifrance, 1901, A&W and Burger King.

Besides the fast food segment, Business-to-Business markets also include Food Service to hotels, Institutional & Food Caterers. The premium brand for B2B is Prima, Le Sate Mas is the premium brand for authentic Malaysian sate while Baguz is the retail brand for consumers available at hyper and supermarkets (Makro, Tesco, Giant).

The extensive range of quality halal products has put Prima on the A list of the halal food industry, and the company now has global niche markets for its halal cold cuts, gourmet sausages, pizza with pepperoni and sate through its partners, agents and distributors, especially in the European Union, Asia and the Gulf area (GCC).

Representative in the EU is Bilal Gourmet Foods in Waalwijk, the Netherlands, which has the responsibility to establish importers and distributors in EU - 15 and EU - 25. Bilal's Managing Director Arno van der Pas explained that with the change of social ethnicity in the EU, becomes more apparent to choose for one accessible Food service accepted by all.

Institutions and food service caterers, such as Airlines Caterers and school canteens, have already initiated this move to halal food. His forecast for 2006 is 1500 metric tones (mt) of halal food especially from Malaysia, and he expects his biggest challenge will be to service the increased demand from a distributive point of view.

Prima Halal Food Park

Prima Agri-Products, which has been a long-time MDBC, member-company through the involvement of its Senior Executive Director Hennie Coenraad and In-house Chef Marinus Hoogendorn now has achieved an annual turnover of RM40 million.

Its operations in Bandar Baru Bangi are fully equipped with office space, laboratory, cold room and modern production area. Prima has three manufacturing factories and currently produces 20 mt per day. But with the increased international demand, Coenraad is looking to boost his production tenfold to 200mt per day in the next 5 - 10 years.

The ambitious plan to achieve this is through the Prima Halal Food Park (PHFP), a 40-hectare site in Gambang near Kuantan, Pahang which Prima is developing as one of the country's 7 Halal Food Parks. Contrary to the other 6 hubs which are owned and developed by State Governments, the PHFP will be developed and promoted by Prima, which will be investing RM30 million for the land and basic infrastructure.

"Each production unit is a full fledge manufacturing unit complete with machineries and process flow system", explained Prima's General Manager Ahmad Nadzir Idris. "At full capacity of production, each SME unit in the Prima Halal Food Park will produce 3,000 kilograms. With 68 SMI units combined production could reach 200mt per day and annual sales value of RM610 million".

PHFP is opening its opportunity to foreign food manufacturers to take this opportunity to set up a halal manufacturing base in Malaysia and take advantage of the recognized halal JAKIM certification to tap other halal markets.

PHFP is scheduled to commence operations in 2007 and the Park's full development is expected to take 8 years with a required investment of RM250 million lot, stock & barrel.

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