Halal Certification in Indonesia was way below the level of Muslim populated Southeast Asian countries. Data of National Boar of Standardization [BSN] had it that halal certification in Indonesia was let than 20% while in Malaysia it was above 90%. Head of BSN Bambang Prasetya stated in Jakarta on Monday [10/3] that toward free market era, invasion of halal products from abroad was heightening including from non-Muslim countries. Unfortunately so far one of Indonesia’s fortress of certification was still vulnerable.
Bambang rated that to enhance halal certification to play catch up with other countries, the body which issued certificate must be part of the Government, not Non Governmental Organization [NGO] of limited budget. The discussion over the Bill of Halal Products Assurance [JPH] had bin hanging on for 9 years due to disagreement between the ministry of religious Affairs and the Indonesia Council of Ulama [MUI]. And yet, Bambang said, that finalization of Halal certification was a pressing necessity toward ASEAN free market era.
Bambang stated that low halal certification figures in Indonesia was triggered by minimum consumer’s awareness of the importance of accountable halal lable. Halal certification, he said, was more than just formality but it consistently informed the consumers that the product was Halal. He disclosed that quite frequently Indonesian food products were rejected in Muslim countries due to doubted halal certificate. Businesspeople demanded that the existing accredited Halal Certification Body released products which were Halal and competitive abroad.
He disclosed that in Indonesia, Halal certification was issued by MUI since 2005 to end of 2011. The Board of Food, Medicine and Cosmetics certifies with products totaling 97,794 items from 3,561 companies. The figure was claimed to increase when combined with Halal certificates issued by LP-POM-MUI of the regions spread out in 33 provinces.
In the past 5 years LLPOM-MUI had issued 13,136 Halal certificates of total products circulated istered 175.157 products of which around 103,382 products or around 59.01% had pockted MUI’s Halal Certificate.
Meanwhile the F&B industry circles demanded that evaluation of Halal products must refer to Mutal Recognized Agreement [MRA]. The reason was that each country had different criteria of the Halalness of a products. Secretary General of GAPPMI Franky Sibarani said that the definition of Halal might be different with each country.
Franky said that since the very beginning he proposed halal labeling not to be compulsory but poluntary. Although voluntary, it did not mean that the F&B products without halal label were presumably un Halal. He feared that compulsory but voluntary. Although voluntary, it did not mean that the F&B products of the small industry.
Franky rated that labeling of Halal Certificate for F&B products made local F&B products lose compepetion against imported products. Moreover toward AEC 2015, Halal labeling on products would be subject of long debates among international F&B producers.
GAPPMI rated that halal labeling of products in company could not be forced. The bill for Halal Guarantee of Products [JPH] was never passed so far. The reason was tug-of-war still going on between Government and House. Parliament demanded authority to be given to MUI, while the Government because MUI was not part of the Government. He stated that F&B producers under GAPPMI had mostly applied for Halal certificate. From the Marketing viewpoint labeling of Halal would be well accepted by the Indonesian people who were mostly Muslims. (SS)
Business New - March 14, 2014