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Milk industry taps Malaysian halal market

Actor Lee Min-ho poses with Binggrae’s banana-flavored milk. (Binggrae)
Actor Lee Min-ho poses with Binggrae’s banana-flavored milk. (Binggrae)


After a year of regulatory consultations, South Korean dairy maker Binggrae will export its first commercial batch of banana-flavored milk to the Malaysian halal market, government officials said Monday.

According to South Korea’s Agriculture Ministry and Food Safety Ministry, 14.4 tons of the all-Korean flavored milk will be shipped to Malaysia on Sept. 12. Biggrae aims at exporting a total of 50 tons of banana-flavored milk, worth $120,000, this year.

The Korean exporter shipped the first test batch of the 40-year-old brand on Aug. 15 as samples for Malaysian customs  and market testing.

The export comes a year after Korea and Malaysia began the bilateral negotiations in September 2014. Banana-flavored milk gained Malaysia’s halal certification and the inspection approval in March, followed by the completion of a bilateral inspection agreement in June.

“President Park Geun-hye’s visit to the four Middle Eastern countries in March has proved the springboard for Korea’s inroads into the halal food market,” the Agriculture Ministry said in a press release.

Under the Government 3.0 slogan, Cheong Wa Dae and the ministries, Korean dairy industry and the Korea Muslim Federation have pushed government-civil cooperation in spurring growth.

At present, only two Korean dairy makers -- Binggrae and Seoul Dairy Cooperative -- are approved by and registered with the Malaysian halal authorities. Malaysia is considered the toughest halal certifier, according to Korean exporters.

By Chung Joo-won (joowonc@heraldcorp.com)

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