Indonesia: Unilever Faces Challenges in Applying Halal Warranty System

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta-PT Unilever Indonesia applies a halal waranty system for its products and factory. However, the 216309_620implementation system is not easy and the company faces various challanges.

PT Unilever Indonesia Senior Personal Care R&D Operation Manager Endang Saraswati said one of the challenges of applying the halal waranty system is to ensure that the third parties collaborating with Unilever also meet halal requirements. “We must ensure that our suppliers and associates support our system so that our products are included in the halal criteria,” Endang said at Kembang Goela Sudirman on Tuesday, May 10, 2016.

Endang said it will require quite a long time to convince the third parties. “They know that it must meet the criteria to cooperate with us,” she said.

Unilever supervises its products very strictly so that it can always be included in the halal criteria. It has also prepared a product isolation procedure if a product is considered doubtful to be halal.

The company has 39 brands and it is a crucial matter in maintaining the halal warranty of materials of the products especially with the automatic production system. All materials must be adjusted with the existing halal standard based on the list from Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI). “With plenty of products and materials, the risk is extremely high with just one wrong move,” she said.

Unilever is also preparing competent human resources in the halal product sector.  “Training and education become imperative,” said Endang. The company is working with MUI for its external training program and is training a team of internal auditors to defend the halal certificate by performing an audit every six months.

The audit result is then submitted to MUI.  “So we do not wait until MUI performs an audit biennially,” said Endang.

Another challenge Unilever is also facing is the stamping of halal logo on all Unilever products.

Endang said it was impossible to change the plentious Unilever products packaging simultaneously. “What important is that our prpducts already met the halal criteria.”