Consumers worldwide have been able to buy halal versions of the Nestlé’s well known brands such as Kit Kat since the 1980s.
Today Nestlé Malaysia produces about 300 halal products in its food and beverage range which are exported to more than 50 countries worldwide.
Halal certified products are sourced, manufactured, imported and distributed in accordance with Islamic law to meet the needs of Muslim consumers.
Malaysia was Nestlé’s first market to apply for halal certification for all its food products. This followed the Malaysian government’s introduction of voluntary halal certification in 1994.
Nestlé Malaysia is now the company’s global Halal Centre of Excellence.
This means it offers policy guidelines, know-how and expertise on halal to other Nestlé markets
Nestlé Malaysia’s Halal Policy outlines information on ingredients, sourcing, production, packaging and transportation of Nestlé halal products.
A Halal Committee which includes senior executives from various areas in the company was established in the 1980s. It has become part of the policy to ensure it addresses matters in relation to halal certification.
Paul Bulcke, Nestlé’s chief executive officer, emphasised the importance of Nestlé Malaysia at a recent event to mark the company’s 100th anniversary.
“Nestlé Malaysia plays an important role to the Nestlé Group,” he says.
“Not only because of the country’s unique location at the heart of the region which allows our business easier access to the South East Asian market.
“But also because of its strategic role as the biggest halal producer and the Halal Centre of Excellence in the Nestlé world,” Bulcke adds.
A number of other activities throughout the year will be led by Nestlé Malaysia to mark its centenary.
Nestlé started its operations in 1912 as the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company in the Malaysian state of Penang.
It set up its first factory 50 years later in Petaling Jaya, near to the capital of Kuala Lumpur, producing sweetened condensed milk, the beverage brand Milo, and tomato and chilli sauces.
The company now employs more than 5,700 employees in Malaysia. It operates seven factories, all of which are halal certified.
“What began as a small organisation 100 years ago is now a very successful business,” says Bulcke.
“Over time the company has become a natural part of society, nourishing generations of Malaysian families.”
Other leading Nestlé markets which produce halal products include Indonesia and the Middle East.
In Europe, Nestlé’s halal products are manufactured mainly in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.
Nestlé halal products are also produced in the US.
A halal inspection authority, such as the Halal Food Council of Europe, inspects the company’s factories with a Nestlé Halal Committee member to ensure products comply with Islamic law before halal certification is awarded.
A total of 85 out of Nestlé’s 456 factories worldwide are halal certified.