Surabaya, East Java (ANTARA) – Cooperatives and SMEs Minister Teten Masduki has urged the National Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM) and the Halal Product Assurance Agency (BPJPH) to accelerate the halal certification of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“I have talked about it, but it seems that there has not been much change,” he said at the “East Java Halal Festival 2023” held by the East Java Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) here on Friday.

Masduki made the request saying that, so far, there has been no change in the long-drawn-out mechanism for licensing, which takes a minimum of 21 days. In fact, President Joko Widodo has called for a simpler halal certification process that takes 2–3 days.

“If there are 30 million MSMEs that want to apply for it (halal certificate), it needs 600 years (to certify them all),” he said.

According to him, halal certification is essential for MSMEs, in line with the enactment of the Job Creation Law, which also stipulates that food and beverage MSMEs must have a halal certificate by 2024.

The minister also noted that many MSME players do not know about government efforts to simplify the halal certification procedure.

“We have actually provided a lot of assistance before MSME (products) enter BPOM,” he said.

He also pointed out several halal industries that can be developed by East Java, such as seafood processing, halal spices, and wellness products.

Head of East Java, Kadin Adik Dwi Putranto, said that the time needed for the halal certification process is still very long, and this poses a problem.

All stakeholders, especially in East Java, have a solid commitment to improving the domestic halal industry ecosystem, he noted.

East Java Kadin is making maximal efforts to support MSMEs in taking the “self-declare” mechanism, which can be an alternative before getting a halal certificate, Putranto added.