The Importance of Global Halal Standard

by Tati Maryati, SSi, MM and Prof. Dr. Mosaad A. Abdel-Wahhab  

Recently, the increasing trade of Halal products has deserved a special attention from various parties, especially Muslim societies because it reflects the strong economy of Muslims. Nevertheless, Halal products are not only for Muslims but also for all humans.  It was mentioned in the Qur'an that Halal food and beverages are the best for consumption because it is  good for health, which we are familiar with the term Halal-Thoyyib.

Apparently, this is realized by many parties, especially with the help of social media and internet, where the information is very easy to be obtained by the public. The increasing trade of halal products from time to time is may be since non-Muslim communities are interesting to consume Halal products.

This situation involves many things in trade, such as Halal transportation, Halal logistic, Halal production process, Halal certification body, Halal accreditation and the definite is the Halal standard of both Halal testing and Halal audit. Because many things are involved in the trade of halal products, it is not strange, of course, if many non-Muslims also are involved in the industry sector. The extent to which they can play a role in this, of course, such as decision makers or top management should be Muslims, because after all top managements or decision makers should understand sharia and other Islamic rules, especially those related to Halal.

Currently, various countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, UAE, Pakistan and others  already have Halal standards; however,  so far there has been no global halal standards;  consequently, each country claims its own standards. The result of a product may already have a Halal certificate in the country but in the country of destination export it can be declared not kosher. This is because there is no global Halal standard that regulates it. In global trade, it takes a form of Mutual Recognized as done during Halal conferences in Thailand in recent years, but as long as global Halal standards do not exist then this mutual recognized becomes useless.

If such circumstances allowed to continue, then it is possible that many Halal products from some countries cannot enter other country or vice versa. Various efforts that we look at from year to year have been done, because no one wants to lower his ego a little so that this harmonization cannot be implemented. We recommend that SMIIC as the world body, take immediate action and resolve this issue, by establishing a Halal global standard whereby all States must be subject to one international treaty provision and this must be strictly enforced; therefore, it must also be established so that all parties may subject to global halal standards.

The question now is: why SMIIC is not firm from long ago, is not it as a symbol of the world SMIIC has the authority for it.

As with laboratory testing of food products, many standard methods refer to ISO or other standards such as ASTM and others.  This can be analogous to the standard method of Halal testing for food and beverage products. For testing such as alcohol content, it will be the same method, which makes it different perhaps because of the sample matrix And thus testing methods can be adopted. Likewise, with so many standard audits and laboratory testing have already established in some countries, so SMIIC can address one of several existing standards. The most important issue is to know that we need a fast global Halal standard, as SMICC can adopt one of the existing standards instead of repeating  everything from zero again. All parties must be able to lower their respective ego for unity and unity to encourage the success of the Muslim world economy.