The demand for halal products continues to increase every year. This is in line with the increasing awareness of Muslims, especially in Indonesia, of the importance of consuming halal products. More than that, the state has also protected these consumer rights, with the issuance of Act No. 33 of 2014 concerning Halal Product Assurance (JPH Act).
On that basis, halal certification is an obligation that must be fulfilled by manufacturers, as well as an advantage to increase product competitiveness. This applies to all business actors, including Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs). Even though the government has allocated funds for halal certification through related agencies, there are still many MSEs who admit that it is difficult to carry out halal certification.
So, where is the role of the Assessment Institute for Foods, Drugs and Cosmetics Indonesian Council of Ulama (LPPOM MUI) in this regard?
LPPOM MUI together with the Halal Product Assurance Agency (BPJPH) of the Ministry of Religious Affairs (Kemenag) is synergizing in facilitating halal certification for MSMEs. In total there are 3,283 MSMEs included in the Cooperation. This program is spread to 20 provinces throughout Indonesia.
In addition, LPPOM MUI as a halal inspection agency that has been in the field of halal certification for almost 32 years continues to show its commitment in serving clients. The credibility of LPPOM MUI is seen in its efforts to maintain the Halal Assurance System (HAS) still applied by halal product manufacturers, even during the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Since the beginning of March 2020, LPPOM MUI has been thinking about the worst risks of not being able to conduct an onsite audit. Therefore, Modified Onsite Audit (MOsA) is required while emphasizing that it does not change halal-haram law, meets regulatory requirements, and fulfilling client rights,” explained Ir.Sumunar Jati, Deputy Director of LPPOM MUI, in the webinar series Indonesia Islamic Festival (IIFEST) 2020 organized by PT Dyandra Promosindo together with the Executive Board of Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU) some time ago.
Of course, LPPOM MUI has been anticipating on maintaining the confidentiality of data owned by businesses. The confidentiality of business data up to the determination of fatwas by the MUI Fatwa Commission becomes a challenge for LPPOM MUI in terms of maintaining the mandate of halal certification during the pandemic.
In addition, LPPOM MUI has also made it easier for businesses to register to monitor the halal certification process. Namely, through the online platform Cerol-SS23000.There are three main advantages in using Cerol-SS23000, including:
1. The Company may apply for halal certification of products online indefinitely and place.
2. Able to monitor the progress of the certification process in real time.
3. Certification data is stored in the system properly (history).
In terms of resources, LPPOM MUI also continues to conduct halal auditor competency maintenance programs carried out through one of the web-based platforms. Clients can also discuss with the LPPOM MUI team through a video conference application. Furthermore, all forms of socialization and promotion have been done online. This is a form of LPPOM MUI readiness and commitment to continue to provide optimal and best halal certification services to clients. (YN)