THIRST QUENCHER…Fisherman, Ismail Sulong, 63, quenches his thirst with Cypress health drink donated by FAMR Holdings and Koperasi Bernama in Kemaman, Terengganu. A total of 2,400 bottles were contributed to flood-afflicted residents. By Salbiah Said
KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) — There is no magic bullet to good health, but taking the right water keeps the doctor away.
For FAMR Holdings Sdn Bhd, the producer of a new health drink, Cypress, the real magic is in its bottled water, which is rich in 84 minerals that are essential for a healthy body.
The product, said to be the first of its kind in Malaysia, is a result of extensive study from its research team. It contains six raw materials – Hunza crystal salt from the Himalayan Mountains in Pakistan, extracts of cypress, amber and Al-Manna (Gum Arabic), zam-zam water and purified, alkaline and oxygenated water.
Its managing director Siti Zaleha Abdul Ghani told Bernama in an interview: “The mineral composition in Cypress makes it ‘air sunnah’ (sunnah water). (Sunnah is the way of life prescribed as normative for Muslims on the basis of the teachings and practices of Prophet Muhammad and interpretations of the Quran).
Cypress is produced at its Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) factory in Johor, with a capacity of 40 containers a month. One container is equivalent to 1,600 boxes, with 24 bottles in each box.
IMPORTED RAW MATERIALS
Siti Zaleha said except for alkaline water, which is processed locally, most of the raw materials are sourced abroad, with crystal salt imported from Holland, cypress and amber from Turkey, and zam-zam and Al-Manna from Saudi Arabia.
At present, the Cypress drink, which is sold at RM4.50 each in Peninsular Malaysia and RM5.50 each in Sabah and Sarawak, comes in 500 ml size, with plans to produce the drink in other sizes in the future.
The product, which is branded as F&A Cypress Extra, is marketed through Farid & Alice Marketing Resources, which is based in Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur. F&A is the acronym for her son Farid and daughter Alice.
Cypress Extra is produced through multiple stages of purification treatment processes combined with UV disinfection, membrane filtration, ionisation (alkaline), oxygenation and water molecule energisation processes as well as an added mixture of herbs that contain 84 essential minerals for healthy body growth.
Siti Zaleha, who is the founder said, the company, which was incepted as a sole enterprise three years ago, converted to Sdn Bhd last year, focusing on marketing and distributing the drink, with the support of close friends and relatives.
POPULAR IN JB AND SINGAPORE
Together with her husband Sharudin Haji Mat Daud as consultant, they decided at the end of 2013 to expand the business further by appointing distributors for the product. Starting off with one container, Cypress became popular in Johor Baharu and Singapore, with positive testimonials from satisfied customers.
“We are not promoting the treatment aspects, but simply sharing the benefits of the sunnah minerals which are contained in the water. In fact, the Cypress drink can be consumed by non-Muslims,” said Siti Zaleha.
The crystal salt is a favourite condiment of Prophet Muhammad. To quote the prophet: “From the one who begins a meal with salt, Allah wards off 330 kinds of diseases, the least of which are lunacy, leprosy, bowel troubles, and toothache. The rest is prescribed in the supreme knowledge of Allah.”
The company collaborated with Professor Mohammad Shakran Shuhatah from Egypt who found the medicinal values and healing properties in amber and the cypress pine tree after 35 years of research.
His research also covered the remains of Noah’s ark, which were reported to have been discovered by archaeologists on Mount Ararat in Turkey in 2010. The ark was said to have been made of wood from the cypress tree, used for making ships in the Middle East.
MIRACULOUS BENEFITS OF ZAM-ZAM
The Cypress drink also contains zam-zam water. Zam-zam is a well located within the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Millions of Muslims visit the well each year while performing the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages, in order to drink its water, which is believed to have miraculous benefits, including curing ailments.
Moving forward, Siti Zaleha said the company plans to invest RM12 million on its bottling plant in Kuala Terengganu in two years’ time, with the acquisition of a two-acre (0.8 hectare) leased land, which is pending state government approval.
The company also signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with Koperasi Bernama Berhad on Dec 22, 2014 to promote a healthy lifestyle among the public through the sale of the drink. Under the MoA, FAMR Holdings would gain assistance with advertising and promotion of its ‘Cypress Extra’ alkaline sports drink.
The agreement was signed by Bernama General Manager, Datuk Zulkefli Salleh, who is also Koperasi Bernama chairman, with Siti Zaleha representing FAMR Holdings. Koperasi Bernama, which holds a 30 per cent stake in Farid & Alice Marketing Resources, has been appointed as its exclusive distributor to jointly market the Cypress drink for the company.
“As Bernama is a media organisation, we will seek the help of our journalists to provide publicity for this drink as a news item and as a community service to help improve the health of the general public,” said Zulkefli. Cypress is Koperasi Bernama’s first project since its inception middle of last year.
KOPERASI BERNAMA’S FIRST PROJECT
FAMR Holdings director Azlan Salleh Haron said: “InsyaAllah (God willing), our collaboration with Koperasi Bernama will generate revenue for both sides. The cooperative’s success in this venture will be translated into dividends for its members.”
Azlan said, the company which has spent almost RM1 million on the business, expects production from its bottling plant in Johor to increase with its collaboration with Bernama. “Demand from overseas, including China and India has also been encouraging, but for now, we are focusing on the ASEAN market,” he added.
Koperasi Bernama economic bureau head Syed Khedher Ismail said, as a business partner, the cooperative will help FAMR to market its mineral water through strategic advertising and promotion plan, via integrated media channels. What they need is to create more awareness to ensure the F&A Cypress brand is widely known in the market, he added.
“What is more important is to guide the entrepreneurs of this company and even others how to position their products rightly in the market in light of current global economic uncertainties. Our experiences, in addition to our strong network, will hopefully steer them to greater success,” he said.
FAMR will launch the new packaging and design for the Cypress drink next month. It will also be taking part in the World Minerals Exhibition in Brunei on Feb 27, which will be officiated by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.
Koperasi Bernama Secretary, Zid Omar expects its membership to grow tremendously with the soft launch and roadshows. The company is now looking for distributors and stockists in each state in Malaysia.
Those interested can contact Syed Khedher (019-3300148) and Zid Omar (011-32679988).