Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Bird's nest operators eye Middle East halal market

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian bird's nest operators are hoping to penetrate other markets, including the Middle East, after a temporary ban was lifted by China on Thursday.Selangor Bird's Nest Merchants Association president Mah Swee Lye said bird's nest products were being accepted by more countries.

He said operators were eyeing Middle East countries as the product was deemed "halal" with nutritional benefits. "Post China's ban, many operators are seeking out other countries. This includes larger markets such as Taiwan and Hong Kong. "We have received a heightened interest from Middle East countries."

As for the selling price, he said it was between RM6,000 and RM7,000 per kg before the ban, and it was between RM3,000 and RM4,000 per kg now.

In July 2011, a ban on local bird's nest products was imposed after results showed they did not comply with the permissible nitrite level. 

Federation of Malaysian Bird's Nest Merchants Association president Datuk Tok Teng Sai cautioned the nine companies that had received the green light to export bird's nest products to China to comply with China National Certification and Accreditation Administration's requirements.

Only then, he said, would they be able to export to China. Tok was referring to the companies that were given the "passed with condition status" after multiple audits from the Malaysian and Chinese governments in April.

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