Answering the Basic Questions About Halal Certification
There are many questions about Halal certification that new companies, especially those foreign-owned, may ask as they venture into Indonesia.
While they have the best interest at heart, these business owners are wise enough to study the culture of this country. By doing so, they will know how to better deal with the needs of the market while being sensitive to their customs at the same time.
Doing your research and adapting what you have learned to your company products and services will help open a market for you. And this can mean profits, which is the goal of every business in the first place.
In Indonesia, Islam is the biggest religion. Around 225 million or nearly 90 percent of the population in this country identify themselves as Muslims. This religious group is known for only consuming products and services that are Halal certified, following the Islamic Laws.
What Does Halal Mean?
Let us discuss the basics first by defining what “Halal” means because this can answer one of many questions about Halal certification.
“Halal” is an Arabic term which means lawful or permitted. If we are talking about food, it is a dietary standard prescribed by the Muslim scripture. Halal foods, basically, are free from any ingredient prohibited by Islamic law. They are also processed and manufactured using equipment that has been cleansed according to Muslim beliefs.
The opposite of Halal is “Haram.” Some of the examples are the following:
- Alcoholic drinks
- Non-halal animal fat
- Non-halal animal shortening
- Pork, bacon, ham
- Carnivorous animals, birds of prey
- Meat stock
Gelatin, enzymes, emulsifiers, and flavors, meanwhile, are questionable food ingredients because of their unknown origin. Cows, veal, lamb, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and bison, among others, are considered Halal but they should be prepared in accordance with the Islamic laws.
Why Should Companies Get Halal Certification in Indonesia?
As mentioned, Indonesia is vastly populated by Muslims, so it is only ideal to get your products and services Halal certified. However, apart from this, the Indonesian government put into effect the Halal Product Law in 2019.
With this law in place, many consumer products and services that are currently offered in Indonesia should undergo the process of getting Halal certification. These companies have until 2022 to comply.
The new law on Halal products and services directed the formation of the Halal Products Certification Agency (BPJPH). This is a new government agency under the Ministry of Religious Affairs tasked with issuing Halal certifications.
The BPJPH strictly mandates to place proper labeling on Halal products.
How to Get Your Company Halal Certified?
This is probably one of the most important questions about Halal certification.
You must register your company and products or services with the Ministry of Religious Affairs. The BPJPH will be issuing a special registration number—to be used to label your products—to your company. Provide a sample of your products to the chosen Halal inspection agency for evaluation. The results will then be submitted to the Food and Drug Research Institute of the Indonesian Ulema Council—it is tasked to give the final approval.
The process of acquiring Halal certification may take around 60 days. Once you have it, take note that the validity of the certificate is only for four years. Remember that you are required to secure another Halal certification should you change the composition of your product.
Halal as a Way of Life
Halal is not simply about dietary standards. It is a way of life. It is incorporated in the protocols, rules, and manners of a person. However, since food is a major part of life, the laws on food consumption are deemed special. Muslims believe they eat to live but they do not live to eat. Islam beliefs dictate that eating is a form of worship to God.
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