Food & Beverage Industries Opinion

Malaysia: Covid-19: HDC urges halal market players to take precautions

Following the government’s measures to implement the “Movement Control Order” nationwide, the Halal Development Corporation (HDC) has urged halal market players to take the necessary precautions aimed at preventing an upsurge in the number of Covid-19 cases.

HDC chief executive officer Hairol Ariffein Sahari said today halal market players need to be vigilant and work with their staff to adhere to the advice of healthcare professionals on proper hygiene, social distancing, self-isolation if sick and no non-essential travelling.

The government measures introduced will also see the closure of business premises for 14-days starting from March 18 to March 31. Only essential service outlets will remain open.

“With a lot of precautions currently being taken into practice, this is an opportunity for us to reinforce these socially responsible practices — observe hygiene practices, wash your hands frequently,” Hairol said.

Amid this unprecedented outbreak, he expressed confidence that the halal ecosystem has the capability to weather potential crisis including this pandemic.

The regulators and the halal players had put in place a strong system that is resilient and capable of withstanding economic shock.

“There is a silver lining for the halal market players in this pandemic. What we inculcate as part of our business operations are the precautionary measures that are being put in place to fight this virus,” he said.

“Hygiene, a precautionary measure that is expected of us in battling this virus is not new to the halal market players. It is one of the criteria of a halal product and is embedded in the Halal business operations,” Hairol said.

HDC is monitoring the situation and does not expect the halal market players to be less inclined to pursue halal business.

In fact, while the pandemic has grown exponentially negatively impacted the economy, it also sees tremendous room for further growth for potential players notably from the supply shortage of pharmaceutical and medical products.

It has been reported that the Covid-19 outbreak has caused supply chain disruptions as global production out of China fell to an all-time low in February; quarantined workers and shortages of components hindered the availability of good from China, the world’s hub for manufacturing.

“HDC takes this global widespread of Covid-19 seriously. It has put in strict measures for employees in our effort to curb the virus. And in line with the newly introduced measures, HDC staff will work from homes,” added Hairol.

It has recently postponed its yearly World Halal Conference 2020 that will see HDC welcoming speakers and delegates globally to September 1 and 2 from the slated dates of April 1 and 2.

Source: Halal Focus

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