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NEWS UPDATES 8 June 2010

Correct halal certification sought

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The fifth International Halal Market Conference saw numerous discussion on halal products.

Food manufacturing giants Nestlé, who has been in the business for 150 years or so, were also in attendance and Managing Director Peter Vogt along with the company's Chairman of Halal Committee Regulatory Affairs Othman Mohd Yusoff, spoke to reporters about the halal market and some challenges that may be faced along the way.

There are a lot of different halal certifications in the world, how difficult is that as an exporter?

Mr Vogt said: “What you have to do is work with the local halal body in each market, that's the critical thing. Now, the question is, because there are several halal bodies in (various) markets, which one is the country that you want to sell your product is accepted, that is the question?”

As Othman mentioned you have certain bodies, which are approved by Jakim (Malaysia's Religious Body) or others.

The key for Brunei Halal, would be that they can convince Jakim or anyone else that they are the correct halal certification body for Brunei and vice versa.

Mr Yusoff commented: “Right now, for example, the Religious Council of Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore (Mabim), has no problems for each country accepting the other. If you have products from Brunei with the Brunei logo it will be accepted in the other three countries, likewise for the others. But, the problem comes when you go to Australia, United States and so on, for example Jakim has 46 approved bodies globally and Indonesia has 40 on their list. When operating in this country, you have to know what are the approved bodies.”

Global harmonisation standards has been looked into for the past 10 to 15 years, the first one that was trying to do this were the World Halal Counsel, trying to bring everybody together under one umbrella. Right now, there is IHIA (International Halal Industry Alliance), this is another body that's trying to be the umbrella to harmonise the halal certifications under one body and the next in line is OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Conference).



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