Malaysian government agency awards Yotsuba for its contribution to halal certification
Yotsuba Milk Products Co., Ltd. (Sapporo) announced on November 9 the receipt of the HDC Award from the Malaysian government agency’s Halal Development Company (HDC), for its contribution to halal certification, which indicates compliance with Islamic religious beliefs. This is only the second example of the award being presented to a group in Japan.
The company was selected in the international business division of the HDC Award, with the award ceremony taking place in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur on October 6. Due to the spread of the covid-19 virus, Yotsuba employees refrained from attending the ceremony, but the award was received on behalf of the company by the head of the local Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) office.
Yotsuba Milk Products’ Asahikawa subsidiary acquired halal certification in 2014 for its long-life milk. By 2017, Yotsuba Milk Products acquired certification at all of its 4 Hokkaido factories, where chilled milk, yogurt, cheese and the like are produced. The thorough management – including investigations into whether pig hair that is forbidden in the Islamic religion is used in brushes that are used to clean the factory – received high acclaim during an HDC inspection last year, which lead to the award.
The sale of halal products in the last fiscal year increased by 20% on the previous year, to 212 million yen, with exports to Singapore and the like. The company is considering to expand its operations overseas in Malaysia and Indonesia, which have large Muslim populations, and President Arita Makoto has high expectations, saying “there are many delicious foodstuffs in Hokkaido, and if we can make more people aware that there are also halal products, exports will increase.”
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