Chairman of the MUI for Fatwas, Prof. Dr. Asrorun Ni’am Sholeh, MA, stated that since the beginning, MUI has supported efforts to accelerate halal certification. This support is manifested in the form of the readiness of the MUI Fatwa Commission to discuss every submission or application for a halal fatwa.
Referring to the experience of 2022, according to Asrorun Ni’am, the Central MUI Fatwa Commission can reach 5.04 million products per year. That doesn’t include the provincial MUI, with 30 million requests, and the regency/municipal MUI, with 72 million requests. Asrorun Ni’am emphasized that fatwa commission meetings to determine halal could also be held at provincial and city/regency MUIs.
However, at that time, the number of reports submitted to the halal determination trial was only 105,326 reports proposed by business actors. This is very far from the Ministry of Religion’s target of launching 10 million halal-certified products by 2024.
To maximize the achievement of the halal certification target, Asrorun Ni’am Sholeh emphasized that the flow and ecosystem of halal product assurance continue to be improved. “Resolving the problem from the root so that it is right on target,” said Ni’am, as quoted by Jawapos.com.
Another thing that needs to be optimized is socialization to business actors regarding the mandatory halal certification for food products. In addition, there must be persuasion efforts from large category companies first. It is not vice versa, by persuading small business actors or producers with zero risk. Ni’am rejects accusations that the MUI is the cause of the lack of achievement in halal certification in 2022.
Main Director of the Indonesian Ulema Council (LPPOM MUI) Research Institute for Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics, Ir. Muti Arintawati, M.Si assesses the target of achieving 10 million halal-certified products in 2024 as quite a challenge. “We must prepare before discussing such a big target,” said Muti.
Based on data from the Halal Information System (SiHALAL) in October 2022 published on the kemenag.go.id website, during the period 2019-2022, a total of 749,971 products were recorded as halal certified. From this data, the Head of BPJPH, Aqil Irham, estimates that every year, there will be 250 thousands products that will receive halal certificates.
If the data above is used as a guideline, the addition of halal certificate products in 2024 will be around 1 million to 2 million. That’s an optimistic assumption. This figure is undoubtedly far below the target of 10 million halal-certified products by 2024.
As is known, the current halal certification program is carried out through two channels. First, certification is carried out via an independent route ( self-declared ) in which data verification is carried out by the Halal Product Process Assistant (PPH), not by a Halal auditor. The second route is the regular route through the Halal Inspection Agency (LPH).
Self-declaring halal certification, business actors do not need to register with BPJPH as in the regular process. Halal assistants in the field accompany them. The assistants record and inspect until the halal certification is determined.
According to the Chairperson of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) for Sharia and Halal Economics, Drs. KH Sholahuddin Al-Aiyub, M.Sc, that a competent person must carry out this self-declaration. An independent declaration for micro and small business actors must be based on several criteria, including the product is not at risk, uses ingredients confirmed as halal, and the production process is established as halal and straightforward.
In line with Al-Aiyub, Muti Arintawati thinks that even though this independent declaration was made by business actors and PPH, the halal certification process for MSME players should not be arbitrary. Halal standards should not be reduced. “Halal must be 100 percent halal. It can’t be 99.99 percent halal,” he said in discussions with a few of the media some time ago. This must be done to protect the rights of Muslim consumers who must get products that are guaranteed to be halal. (***)