Home » Most Local Food Not Officially Halal: MUI

Most Local Food Not Officially Halal: MUI

News From : DagangHalal.com (08 Jan 2010)

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) says the majority of food products circulating on the Indonesian market have not passed official halal certification.

Such certification means food products are safe to be consumed by Muslims, MUI says.

“Of around 30,000 food products circulating in Indonesia, around 80 percent do not have an official halal certificate,” MUI Food and Drug Analysis Agency (LPPOM MUI) director Lukmanul Hakim said as quoted by detik.com at his office in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Despite the fact that officially halal products constituted only a fifth of products available in Indonesia, Lukmanul said there had also been a growing awareness among consumers about the necessity for official halal certification of their daily consumable goods.

Lukmanul also said the LPPOM MUI would face much stronger challenges in the future, as Indonesia had entered a free trade era with China and member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“There will be a lot of [new] products from abroad circulating in the Indonesia,” he said.

Tariffs on 7,881 goods traded between six ASEAN founding nations were lifted on Jan. 1.

Meanwhile, MUI chairman Maruf Amin said the council’s standards for issuing a halal certification were internationally recognized.

“Today, countries in Europe as well as Australia and the US use MUI procedures and regulations as a guide,” he said.

Maruf also said MUI had been requested by Australia and New Zealand to supervise and determine minimum standards required for the issuance of halal certification in those countries.

However, Indonesian Association of Halal Product Manufacturers (APPHI) chairman Paulus Y. Rusli said MUI still needed to improve its halal certification system.

“There are a lot of complaints from foreign producers. They say their products, which have already received expensive halal certification in their country, are not [automatically] recognized as halal here,” he said.

“So, I think it would be better if we all had the same standards,” he added.

Paulus also hoped the LPPOM MUI could improve its working agreements with food producers.

“In the past, [MUI] has tried to find things we are doing wrong. The council should have more faith in us, because we want to be completely open and honest with what we are producing,” he said.

“Hopefully, things will improve, and we also hope the cost of halal certification will not become more expensive,” he said.

Hans David Tampubolon ,  The Jakarta Post ,  Jakarta   |  Thu, 01/07/2010 9:15 AM  |  National

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