DATES, a traditional dessert for Muslims during the fasting month, are now readily available in attractive packages.
One company in Kelantan, Omni Mal Agencies Sdn Bhd, is well-known for its dates that come in innovative packaging.
This is the company that previously offered dates in an attractive can with the cover resembling the dome of the Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi.
This year, they have introduced another novel design to their dates packaging, printed songket motifs.
Omni Mal Agencies, the largest dates packaging and distributing company in Kelantan, has literally incorporated the traditional Malay heritage design into is packaging.
Songket, intricately patterned with gold and silver threads that provide the shimmering effect, is the traditional Malay fabric and is often used during weddings and for gifts.
The company's managing director, Chua Hock Tee, when met at the factory here noted that the songket motif in the packaging wrappers, boxes and cans introduced for this year's festive period, adds elegance to the company's offerings.
The packaging also indirectly promotes the songket and Chua noted that this represented part of the company's corporate social responsibility programme.
Established in 1997 under Training House Sdn Bhd, the company is located at Kawasan Perindustrian II Pengkalan Chepa here. Apart from the exclusively packaged dates supplied to wholesalers, the company also markets dried fruits and fruit juices.
Asked why the company concentrates on innovative packaging, Chua replied, "The packaging image is important as it highlights the identity of the particular product to the public, especially to the customers".
He pointed out that the company always emphasises the quality and cleanliness of the dates.
The company packages dates from all over the world Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
Only the best dates are imported and processed using machines to ensure proper hygiene.
"And the dates imported in sacks and plastic bags are stored under low oxygen conditions using an oxygen absorber to maintain their freshness," he noted.
He singled out the "ajwa" dates as being the choice selection for Muslims here, as these were also Prophet Muhammad's favourite dates.
The company obtained its "Halal" certification from the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) on March 16 this year.
"The dates are pure on the trees, but after they are picked they may be contaminated by chemicals or other elements when exposed to light and air. This is why we took the initiative to conform to the halal prerequisites," he said.
"We have adopted the 'halal al toyyiba' business concept. We have also introduced dates dipped in the Habbatus Sauda flower oil that is said to be nutritious and good for our customers' health," he said.
"Last year alone the company sold dates worth RM2 million (around $799,000) and this year we expect to surpass this figure, as now we are also marketing them in Sabah and Sarawak," he said.
The dates have penetrated most of the hypermarkets in the country.
"Our products are mostly supplied to corporate bodies and government departments as corporate gifts," he said.
Further, the company is now competing in China and Russia's vast markets. Bernama
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
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