Halal Industry 

Malaysian company says JAKIM halal certification for its reusable gloves based on new ‘personal protective equipment’ standard

| 28 March, 2019
 Ahmad Mustakim Zulkifli
Malaysian company says JAKIM halal certification for its reusable gloves based on new ‘personal protective equipment’ standard
Photo: Sumirubber business development director Sherine Lim (middle) with Halal Executive Mahzir Omar (left) and Sales & Marketing Officer, Jason Lok, wear their halal-certified gloves. Photo supplied by Sumirubber Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR - A Malaysian company says it has produced the world's first JAKIM halal-certified reusable protective gloves to help manufacturers maintain halal integrity throughout their supply chains.

Sumirubber Malaysia Sdn. Bhd, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. told Salaam Gateway the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) informed them the gloves’ halal certification is aligned with a new standard for personal protective equipment (PPE).

JAKIM did not respond to Salaam Gateway’s request for verification of this PPE standard.

“Equipment” is one component that must meet standards to receive JAKIM’s halal certification, for example for food premises. The manual procedure for Malaysia halal certification states that for factories and food premises, equipment used must be “free from najs (impurities), does not contain hazardous materials and results in side effects to the products produced.”

In the case of protective gloves, Dhaliff G. Anuar, manager for halal industry and integrity service at PwC Malaysia, told Salaam Gateway that those used in food production, for example, can be halal-certified according to MS2200, which covers consumer goods.

In a case involving JAKIM halal certification of another non-food and beverage product, Salaam Gateway on Mar 4 reported that Malaysian company BioIntegrasi had received certification for its diapers and sanitary napkins. Following that report, JAKIM on Mar 18 told Salaam Gateway in an email that BioIntegrasi’s certification was not tied to any standard but referenced Malaysia’s Halal Certification Procedure Manual.

HALAL CERTIFICATION FOR CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

Sumirubber’s business development director Sherine Lim said its halal-certified reusable gloves will boost manufacturers’ confidence that their end-to-end processes will remain free of any non-halal contamination.

“The adoption of the Halal Assurance System (HAS), where stringent control is applied throughout the entire manufacturing process, assures no contamination,” Lim told Salaam Gateway.

Malaysia’s Halal Assurance System provides companies with a systematic approach to ensure and preserve halal integrity of their supply chain.   

Lim said hygiene and non-compliant substances such as impermissible animal derivatives, animal-based gelatines and alcohol are the main concerns for the halal manufacturing process.

Sumirubber hopes its first-ever participation at trade fair the Malaysian International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) in early April will increase sales of its gloves.

The company has sold around $400,000 worth of the reusable gloves since October when it received its halal certification, according to Lim.

"As a first-time exhibitor, we aim to reach $100,000 in sales during MIHAS and we foresee 20 percent growth annually for the next five years.

“This steady increase in demand is from both Muslims and non-Muslims alike as the market is showing an increasing acceptability of halal products and services among non-Muslims," Lim added.

She said the company aims to widen its market to Asia Pacific and the Middle East after successfully marketing the product in Malaysia.

"MIHAS will draw attention, awareness and create opportunity for our halal range of gloves," said Lim.

Sumirubber’s halal-certified gloves are made from a combination of nitrile, a synthetic rubber, and natural rubber.

Apart from its halal credentials, the company is also banking on the gloves being reusable as a draw for cost-conscious food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, big food chains, small food operators and households.

‘GOOD DEVELOPMENT’ FOR HALAL INDUSTRY

CEO of national trade promotion agency MATRADE, Wan Latiff Wan Musa told Salaam Gateway the gloves are a good development for the halal industry.

"More often than not people would associate halal with food and beverages, but halal is more than that,” said the CEO.

"The halal glove is very encouraging in this aspect. Halal encompasses the entire lifestyle. That's what MATRADE has been trying to convey all this while," he told Salaam Gateway on the sidelines of a maritime exhibition in Langkawi.

It is more challenging, he said, to convey the message to non-Muslims that halal encompasses a whole lifestyle and is not limited to food and beverages.

(Reporting by Ahmad Mustakim Zulkifli; Editing by Emmy Abdul Alim emmy.alim@refinitiv.com)

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