Home » $100m Halal Beef Trade Ban Delayed

$100m Halal Beef Trade Ban Delayed

News From : DagangHalal.com (10 Aug 2009)

A potential ban on New Zealand $100 million in beef exports to Indonesia from October 1 has been postponed until next year.

Indonesia has been threatening to ban New Zealand beef exports as an Islamic clerical body, the Ulema Council (MUI), no longer recognises the local certifications the meat conforms to Islamic dietary laws.

Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said in New Zealand today that it had been decided to postpone the ban until the certification issues could be resolved.

“We have to sort out our difficulties at home, in particular the co-ordination of the government agencies, but… also the Ulema Council,” Mr Wirajuda said today.

“We agreed to postpone the initial target… (from) October until early next year.”

This would give the Indonesia Government time to work out new rules and whether it recognised the New Zealand certification companies or would require certification from an Indonesian source.

The postponement decision follow the recent re-election of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is expected to reshuffle his cabinet.

New Zealand has only two certifying authorities, and Indonesia no longer recognises either of them.

The certifications are provided by New Zealand Islamic Meat Management and the Federation of Islamic Associations (FIA).

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim country and all meat and dairy exports from New Zealand, worth more than $600 million, are halal certified.

Some in the rural sector suspect that the non-recognition of the New Zealand certificates are inspired by Indonesian companies’ desire to become the world’s leading producers of halal food and beverages.

Mr Wirajuda said today that Indonesia’s desire was to expand trade between the two countries after the signing of the Asean free trade deal with Australia and New Zealand.

NZPA

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