Source: [Unpad.ac.id, 25/02/2013]
Within the perspective of Sharia, food products require halal labeling. The label however has expanded its definition from kosher or edible food for Muslim into quality assurance.
According to Dr. Dwi Purnomo, STP., MT., a lecturer in the Faculty of Agriculture Industrial Engineering Unpad, the labeling has encouraged world’s food product to focus more on halal agroindustries. “Halal has now become a standard for high quality of a product. When we buy halal product, we can be certain that the product is of the best quality,” said he.
Nowadays, customers have shifted into consuming halal products for they know that the labeling guarantees their quality. “However, certification is seen as voluntary instead of mandatory. This means that the food manufacturers have yet to see them as obligation despite its huge market,” he added.
Indonesia is still importing halal products from Malaysia and Thailand. This is due to the fact that the cooperation among stakeholders, the government, manufacturers, and users is still wanting. This becomes the main obstacle for Indonesia to excel in creating major halal products.
“Malaysia, among many other nations, has envisioned itself as the largest halal product manufacturer. It has its own port, halal industrial areas, and numerous restaurants with halal kitchens,” said he. Purnomo shows great interests in halal agroindustry because he realizes that Indonesia possesses great potentials when its agriculture products are developed into halal products that imply their excellent quality. It is therefore necessary that food manufacturers in Indonesia be aware of the fact that halal labeling does not only meet sharia law but also indicate the excellent quality of a product.
Purnomo has a vision of making Indonesia’s agroindustry as the locomotive of Indonesian economy. In making this come true, universities have to take part in teaching halal science and developing, for example, halal centers for halal agroindustry studies. “Unpad is planning to build a halal center, collaborating with related institutions,” he added.
As a researcher, Dr. Dwi Purnomo hopes that his knowledge would contribute to the benefit of the society at large. His pieces of research have been presented in numerous international seminars. The latest on Design Thinking for Creative Learning Program Development of Competence-based Curriculum was presented on February 18 and 19, 2013, in the National Conference on Innovation and Technopreneurship 2013, organized by RAMP Bogor Institute of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture Engineering, The Lemeison Foundation, and Directorate General of Higher Education the Ministry of Culture and Education.