Fourteen countries attending halal food council`s meeting

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Twenty-four leaders of international halal certification institutes in 14 countries are taking part in the annual meeting of the World Halal Food Council (WHFC) here on January 16-18.

"From the meeting we expect we can agree on harmonized halal standard of a certain product so that in the future the halal standard will be adopted globally," Director of Food and Medicine Studies Institute at the Indonesian Council of Ulemas (LPPOM MUI) Lukmanui Hakim who is also WHFC president said here on Monday.

The meeting which was opened by Vice President Boediono earlier in the day brings together delegates from the United States, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Poland, Turkey, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore, among others.

At a meeting with Boediono, Lukman handed a book on halal certification to the vice president for official launch. The book written by MUI is expected to serve as a reference for those involved in halal certification process.

"Our hope is that this book could be used as an international reference and adopted as a global standard. This book was written by referring to the concept of prudence to avoid dispute, and was based on science and technology in the hope it can be applied to industries," Lukman said.

Prior to the opening ceremony, the delegates to the WHCF meeting visited the MUI office and witnessed the inauguration of the WHCF head office located at the MUI building here.

MUI General Secretary Ichwan Sam said the MUI had so far issued halal certificates to some 200 thousand different products.

In the past five years, the number of halal-certified products in Indonesia increased significantly by around 27 thousand. However, more than 2 million different products in the country have not yet carried halal certificates. (*)