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Halal food regulations unveiled

Employees prepare halal meat at a butcher in central Phnom Penh in 2016.
Employees prepare halal meat at a butcher in central Phnom Penh in 2016.

Halal food regulations unveiled

The Commerce Ministry announced a standardised certification process for halal food in Cambodia yesterday, a move that was praised by Muslim religious leaders and food producers.

At a workshop held to promote awareness about the new regulation, Commerce Ministry Secretary of State Mao Thora said that the rules would boost the confidence of Muslim visitors and residents in the Kingdom who wished to ensure their food was halal, or allowed under Islamic dietary laws.

“We are now ready to implement this, since we already have the sub-decree, teams of experts and halal inspectors from Muslim religious [groups],” Thora said. “If we can implement it effectively, we will receive a lot of benefit from Muslim tourism.”

Sim Mohddaud, a member of the Highest Council for Islamic Religious Affairs of Cambodia, said the involvement of religious leaders would boost confidence in the government’s measures.

“Muslim people will trust on the implementation of sub-decree from Commerce Ministry because this . . . has cooperation from the highest council for Islamic Religious Affairs Cambodia,” he said. “We will work closely with ministry to control the quality of the certificates.”

Mohddaud noted that there were no regulations prior to the newly announced rules, and many restaurants bearing halal logos were not engaging in proper practices. He said he thought the new sub-decree was necessary in order to ensure a higher quality and trustworthy product.

“Before, it was a bit challenging for Muslim people or Muslim tourists to trust the Cambodian market” regarding halal criteria, he said. “Now, based on the sub-decree and enforcement, it ensures and builds up confidence for Muslims.”

Ean Phearun, general manager of Best Life Product Co, attended yesterday’s announcement in order to learn how to register for a halal certificate.

“If we have the halal certification, it is not only for Muslim consumers but it also represents that my products meet a high standard of cleanliness and hygiene,” Phearun said.

According to Mao Thora, Ly Ly Food Industry Co was the only food producer in Cambodia to already receive halal certification from the ministry. Ly Ly’s CEO, Keo Mom, said yesterday she had previously obtained certification from Vietnam.

“Halal is important for us to reach the halal markets in Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, or other countries who require us to be halal certified,” she said yesterday.

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