A halal certification created by the Cambodian government is now available for companies that produce or sell food items in the kingdom.
“Now we have our own halal logo which we have been developing for about 8 years. We call on companies to apply for this label to help promote it in Cambodian and abroad,” said Mao Thora, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Commerce.
Mr Thora was speaking at a workshop on overseeing and standarising halal certifications for Cambodian restaurants and butchers.
“Having our own halal logo means that companies will no longer need to use halal certifications from other countries for their products,” he said.
Applications will be handled by the secretariat of the Cambodian halal logo steering committee in conjunction with a technical team, who will evaluate each product to check if they meet the required standards.
“For the time being, we are mainly focusing on restaurants and some export products,” Mr Thora said.
“We want our halal label to be recognised all over the world to attract Muslim tourists to Cambodia.”
Sim Mohddaud, member of the Highest Council for Islamic Religious Affairs of Cambodia, said that the new label will lure more Muslim tourists into the country, while increasing exports of halal products.
“We trust this halal logo as it was established by the Highest Council for Islamic Religious Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce. It will build trust for our products among Muslims and non-Muslims,” Mr Mohddaud said.
“Now we have many restaurants that claim to be halal, owned by both Muslims and non-Muslims, but to be trusted, they will now have to secure the halal label from the ministry.”
Ly Ly Food Industry is the only company to have obtained the certification thus far. The company also uses a Vietnamese version of the label.
Keo Mom, CEO of Ly Ly Food Industry, said now that a local halal label is available, she will ditch the Vietnamese halal certification.
“Our sales have increased after securing this second halal certification because we can send our products to Muslim countries,” she said.
However, Mr Mom explained that the new label is unknown at an international level, which presents a significant impediment for those hoping to export their products. She said the government must now strive to make the Cambodian halal certification popular beyond the country’s borders.
Mr Thora agrees, “From now on, we must promote our halal logo globally. To build credibility in our label, we must work to make sure our halal tests are very strict.”