In essence, as Muslims, we need to support the halal certification because it acts as a marketing tool to sell a product and in business, the most important aspect is gaining customers’ trust. - NSTP file pic, for illustration purposes only
I AM a Muslim entrepreneur. Why do I need halal certification? Even without it, I can sell products easily without any doubts from customers.
These are the thoughts in the Muslim entrepreneurs' minds. As such, many Muslim entrepreneurs aren't aware of the importance of the halal certification. According to the statistics in Malaysia, 60 per cent of halal certificate applicants are non-Muslim entrepreneurs.
Don't be surprised if some Muslim restaurants find it difficult to become halal certified. It is worth pointing out again that most of the restaurants that apply for halal certification are non-Muslim owned restaurants.
They have found that the halal certification is valuable and benefits them greatly. The halal certification is related to Halalan Thoyyiban, which goes beyond an absence of pork and alcohol, and covers other aspects such as slaughtering, cleanliness and safety.
In this era, not all Muslims are aware of the raw materials that go into products. For example, collagen may come from pork, while vinegar can be a by-product of wine. That is why even a Muslim requires the halal certification to know that the products are completely halal as verified by an expert.
Besides that, halal certification is significant in businesses as it can be a marketing tool to gain trust from customers. It is also an act of fardu kifayah.
Having a halal certificate is a great marketing tool to help entrepreneurs market their products well. The products can penetrate the local market comprising Aeon, Giant and Mydin.
Usually, the management of these supermarkets require products to have some kind of certification to ensure that they meet a certain standard. In the international market, certain countries require that the product possesses a halal certificate, especially for entry into the Middle East.
Since the halal certification by Jakim is well known worldwide, it will be easily accepted by all countries. According to a study in 2015, Islam has 1.8 billion adherents around the world with a market spending estimate of about US$2,300 billion and the number grows by six per cent every year.
With this in mind, it shows that the international market is vast and sales will likewise increase. A wise entrep eneur will choose to be halal certified.
Gaining the trust of customers is integral to the success of any business. Users will have more confidence if the product is certified by authorities, especially the government. The added value is a guarantee for consumers that the products are of high quality because the halal certificate is the ultimate proof of meeting those standards.
If there are two types of candy — one with a halal logo and the other one without — which one will the consumer choose? Indeed, the tendency to choose halal-certified products will be higher.
Halal certification can become a customer guarantee. "Eat of that which Allah hath bestowed on you as food lawful and good, and keep your duty to Allah in whom ye are believers."
The quote from verses 88 Surah al-Maidah in the Quran clearly mentions that Allah S.W.T requires all people to find food that is lawful and good to eat. Lawful means halal.
Therefore, as a genuine Muslim, finding halal food is a must. Meanwhile, the production of halal food is obligatory for the good of the community or fardu kifayah.
This is so that the customers will have no doubt in choosing the correct product to use or consume confidently. All things considered, Muslim entrepreneurs should look at the responsibility to obtain the halal certification as an ibadah.
In essence, as Muslims, we need to support the halal certification because it acts as a marketing tool to sell a product and in business, the most important aspect is gaining customers' trust.
Therefore, the halal certification is the best method to attract their attention, especially the Muslim buyers.
Besides that, as a Muslim, it is a must to produce halal goods as it is part of the Islamic principles. If not, who else would do it?
We should ensure that Muslim entrepreneurs are aware of the importance of applying for the halal certificate.
The writer is assistant director at Halal Management Division, Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim)
Why Muslim entrepreneurs should obtain halal certification
30 September 2020