Various Muslim organisations, such as the Al Irsyad Al Islamiyyah institution and Malaysia’s Management & Science University (MSU), will assist the UI Halal Centre on product research to determine if they are suitable to be halal-certified.
Role of the UI Halal Centre
The UI Halal Centre’s role includes providing testing services, consultation and the advocacy of halal-certification services, and education and advocacy of halal products and services.
Furthermore, it will conduct scientific and Islamic studies for the development of the halal industry, including in training, education and consumer empowerment programmes.
UI stated that Al-Irsyad is also linked to the network of businesspeople under the KADIN Middle East Committee of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce. It is hoped that, with this cooperation, the UI Halal Centre will be better connected to the Middle East halal market network, which has huge potential.
At the launch of the UI Halal Centre in late December, centre director Professor Amarila Malik stated that they were still in the process of recruiting more certified auditors. The process is not easy, considering that eligible candidates need to have passed a “certification test” by BPJPH after a period of training, in order to be qualified to become certified.
Nonetheless, BPJPH head Professor Sukoso said that those who had previous experience as the Indonesian Ulema Council’s (MUI) Food and Drug Analysis Agency (LPPOM) auditors only need three days to be certified.
Authority of MUI altered
In October, the government revoked the authority of MUI — the country’s top Islamic clerical body — to certify halal products, while the BPJPH was inaugurated by Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Halim Saifuddin.
Then, Prof Sukoso clarified that the new BPJPH had the authority to issue, revoke and manage all administration related to the halal certification of domestic and imported products, while MUI still has the authority to issue halal edicts.
MUI had faced criticism for being unclear on its processes.