ECER-Universiti Darul Iman Pact To Boost Halal Industry

2/17/2009 — Business Times
THE East Coast Economic Region (ECER) was given another shot in the arm yesterday with a tie-up that will lay the groundwork to further develop the region’s halal industry.
East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) officials are confident that an agreement signed with Universiti Darul Iman (UDM) to establish the latter as the centre of excellence to develop halal products would kickstart the industry in the region.
The agreement will initiate all projects lined up under each of the three UDM’s centres of excellence – the Regional Centre for Halal Products, the Centre for Bio-technology and Herbal Products and the Centre of Industry Academia Collaboration.
Under the ECER master plan, UDM is the centre of excellence for the advancement of halal products in the region.
ECERDC chief executive officer Datuk Jebasingam Isaace John said the seminar held yesterday to introduce UDM’s services to small- and mid-sized firms was the first initiative.
“These services include the provision of equipped halal and herbal laboratories for ingredient and composition testing,” he said after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between ECERDC and UDM in Kuala Terengganu yesterday.
The signing was witnessed by Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said. Also present was UDM vice-chancellor Prof Dr Alias Daud.
Jebasingam said UDM will also advise SMEs on halal certification and help to boost their participation in the biotechnology and herbal industry.
This would help farmers to produce better quality and safe herbal products.
UDM deputy vice chancellor (Research and Innovation) Prof Dr Abdul Manaf Ali said UDM’s regional halal centre would look into aspects of quality control for, among others, livestock products, food hygiene and handling, marketing, branding and packaging, regulations and standards and research and development.
It will provide guidance to SMEs and assist them in getting halal certification and ensure their products comply with the strict rules of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Hazard Critical Control Point (HACCP).