After a recent scandal where it was accused of having porcine DNA in its products, Cadbury Malaysia is reaching out to religious leaders. (Read also:Porcine DNA crisis: Did Cadbury manage communications well?)
The company is opening its doors to a panel of religious leaders and scholars to tour its manufacturing plant at Shah Alam. This comes after it had to recall two batches of its chocolate products which tested positive for porcine DNA by the health ministry.
Since then, Cadbury has been quick to take steps to assure its consumers and stakeholders in the market. Earlier, it ran ads to assure the public that it met religious standards.
The religious leaders were taken to see Cadbury’s Halal certification process within the plant and met with Cadbury’s Internal Halal Committee and its plant manager. As part of the factory visit, the religious authorities were also invited to view the entire production chain and the quality checks that are built in at the end of the production process before the products are shared with consumers.
“We recognised that the entire Cadbury fiasco has caused much distress and anxiety to Malaysian consumers on the Halal status of the Cadbury chocolates in Malaysia. However, some of the extreme reactions were unnecessary. We believe in practicing moderation in our behaviour and should trust the country’s highest Halal authority, JAKIM,” Ustaz Haji Mohd Shukri bin Ali, former religious official to HRH, The Sultan Terengganu’s Palace, said.
“Cadbury’s commitment to Halal is reflected by the invitation it has extended to us and we are extremely honoured to be a part of this initiative. We feel that this is a best practice that should be adopted across the F&B industry […]I think it is important to note that the brand will continue to work very closely with the relevant authorities to ensure the required quality processes are continued to be met, ” Ustaz Dr. Zaharuddin. president, Multaqa Asatizah & Du’at Kesatuan Ilmuwan Islam and Pendakwah added.
“Our commitment to Halal is also reflected by having in place, an internal halal committee for 14 years now. The committee comprises senior Muslim executives who have been trained by HDC, the marketing arm of JAKIM on halal procedures and processes. As chairman of the Cadbury Internal Halal committee, I oversee all aspects of manufacturing, including standard operating procedures, people management and training, equipment maintenance, and handling of materials are strictly met in accordance to JAKIM’s Halal guidelines,” Mohamed Yaccob Khan, plant manager, Cadbury Confectionery Malaysia said.
In a conversation with Advertising + Marketing, Gogulan Dorairajoo, CEO of Rantau PR said that while this is an action that is necessary in light of controversial reports and comments that surrounded the issue, it is a “short term measure”. But he added that this will definitely appease the brand’s Muslim consumers who may still be in doubt about the production compliance of Cadbury within Islamic standards.
He added that while consumers may forgive the brand for “purportedly ” contravening Islamic standards in production, social media unfortunately will not let the incident be forgotten.