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“And eat what Allah has provided for you (which is) lawful and good. And fear Allah, in whom you are believer.” Surah Al-Maidah : 88

This verse becomes one of the groundwork, for determining halal on a product. Prof. Dr. Ir. Khaswar Syamsu, M.Sc., Head of the Halal Science Center at IPB University, emphasized that halal and thayyib are not just quality. This was conveyed in a webinar with the theme of Indonesian Halal Products: Between the Power of Cosmetics and Regional / Global Competition held by Maarif Hasyim Latif University (UMAHA) some time ago.

Present as the speaker was the Chairman of the Assessment Institute for Foods, Drugs and Cosmetics Indonesian Council of Ulama (LPPOM MUI) Expert and the Head of IPB University’s Halal Science Center Prof. Dr. Ir. Khaswar Syamsu, M.Sc.; Assistant Director of Bank Indonesia DESK Muhammad Nursaidi SE, as well as Chairperson of PEKERTI (Association of Indonesian Household Health Supply Companies) Naraya Suprapto, BA, MA., M.Sc.

On this occasion, Khaswar explained that halal is any object or activity that is permitted to be used or carried out in Islam. While thayyib is something that is good and safe for consumption (food safety), clean (GMP), and healthy and quality (physical, chemical, and biological aspects).

“That way, when we talk about halal and thayyib, it’s more than just quality. Halal standards are very strict and hold the principle of zero tolerance. That is, halal must be 100%, there should be no doubt in it. Therefore, halal and thayyib products are good for humans and other living things. For example, animals slaughtered must comply with animal welfare principles, so that high quality meat product is obtained, “he explained.

In regarding to the halal market, this quality is guaranteed in a standard. Indonesia has a halal standard and halal guarantee system which is the reference/benchmark of the Overseas Halal Certification Body (LSHLN), namely HAS23000. This is one of Indonesia’s strengths to compete in the global market.

“The government needs to standardize the recognition of overseas halal certification institutions so that Indonesia can benefit from the implementation of the Halal Product Assurance Act (UU JPH) in global market competition. In this case, LPPOM MUI’s Halal Assurance System can be used as a standard for overseas halal certification bodies, “said Khaswar.

Indonesia also has an Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) which covers all Islamic mass organizations and unites religious opinions, including halal fatwas into one vote through MUI fatwas. This is encouraged by MUI through the LPPOM MUI which has quite a large number of auditors compared to overseas halal certification institutions with qualified qualifications, namely scientific backgrounds and competencies relevant to halal certification.

In addition, Indonesia has established good cooperation between scholars and scientists in deciding halal and haram fatwas. Ethanol, for example. If in foreign institutions, ethanol becomes an unclean and unclean material. But the MUI fatwa commission responds to ethanol differently from khamr. “Ethanol is treated as pure chemical if it does not come from the industry of yeast or alcohol, so ethanol is not unclean,” Khaswar said.

Another thing that becomes the strength of Indonesia is the Halal Product Assurance Act (UU JPH) as a legal umbrella in the implementation of halal certification obligations circulating and marketed in Indonesia. Indonesia also has many Halal Centers from various universities to assist the implementation of halal certification for the micro, small and medium enterprises (UMKM) as mandated by the Halal Product Assurance Act (UU JPH). 

Unfortunately, according to Khaswar, Indonesia still has some weaknesses that must be corrected, including: most domestic entrepreneurs are not industrialists / technopreneurship, but traders / traders who tend to import rather than export products; the implementation of the Halal Product Assurance Act (UU JPH) has the potential to result in a high cost economy for the micro, small and medium enterprises (UMKM) whose turnover and profits are relatively small; and the implementation of the Halal Product Assurance Act (UU JPH) has the potential to increase the cost of certification and extend the time of certification due to the addition of the certification process chain compared to the implementation of halal certification so far.

If successful in overcoming weaknesses and threats and can take advantage of opportunities, then the implementation of the Halal Product Assurance Act (UU JPH) can strengthen the competitiveness of domestic industries to capture halal market share, be able to host their own country, and can increase exports and win competition to seize foreign markets, especially countries Islam.

Regarding the halal market, Bank Indonesia is working to develop the halal value ecosystem. “The development of Islamic economics is not only based on the strengthening of the halal industry, but it requires a holistic development, namely the development of ecosystems through the strengthening of the halal value chain,” Nursaidi explained.

Meanwhile, Naraya acknowledged that halal certificates for business people were very important, so socialization to obtain halal certification was very important. “Businesses need understanding and coaching, so that socialization activities are needed,” he concluded. (YN)

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