The Halal Science Centre Chulalongkorn University piloting blockchain system to drive Halal product standards

 | Wed 13 Sep 2023 18:39 ICT

The Halal Science Centre Chulalongkorn University has revealed that the export of halal products in Thailand has grown approximately 25 times from USD 247 million up to USD 6.1 billion since the centre’s inception in 2003, showing that Thailand is on the right track regarding its efforts to develop its science and technology sectors. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Winai Dahlan, Ph.D Director, the Halal Science Center told CityNews that Halal is not only about Muslim food but also safe food which he says could be appreciated globally.

“95% of the people involved in the Halal market including entrepreneurs, farmers, or capitalists are non-Muslims,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Winai. “Meanwhile, on the 20th anniversary of the Halal Science Center, the issues of Halal and technology will be connected together and ready to support Chiang Mai to pilot the use of the blockchain system to help with Halal product standards.” The Chiang Mai Center was established to help SME entrepreneurs export a large number of Halal products and also to develop the manpower to apply digital technology to push the Halal market forward.

On September 11th, 2023, Halal Science Center Chulalongkorn University held a20th anniversary event at the Halal Science Center Chulalongkorn University, Chiang Mai, Chang Klan Road. Honored guests from both the public and private sectors received a warm welcome from Assoc. Prof. Dr. Winai Dahlan and Asst. Prof. Dr. Paradorn Sureepong, Assistant Director of Halal Science Center, Chulalongkorn University.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Winai said that the Halal Science Center Chulalongkorn University was established according to the Cabinet resolution on August 13th, 2003 with the aim to expand the export of Halal products from Thailand to 57 Muslim countries. The export value at that time was 247 million US dollars.

“Then, in 2009 and 2012, we established branch offices in Pattani and Chiang Mai. We have got many questions from the society for the Chiang Mai branch and we therefore explain that Halal is not just Muslim food. Halal means safe food for the whole world and it will greatly expand the market.”

“The Muslim market accounts for a quarter of the world markets. Halal can be consumed by everyone around the world. If we create understanding, it will expand the market. That’s why we opened an office in Chiang Mai which is a great potential province. Asst. Prof. Dr. Paradorn Sureepong, Assistant Director of Halal Science Center, Chulalongkorn University, based in Chiang Mai, is an expert in technology. He is working with us in setting up a system in regard to Halal. On the 20th anniversary, we bring Halal and technology together.”

According to the centre, 95% of the people involved in the halal market are non-Muslim. The entrepreneurs are not Muslim. Farmers are not Muslims. People who work in industrial factories are not Muslim. The investors who came to invest are not Muslims. Imams or Islamic committees are involved, naturally, to help ensure standards. The global Halal Market, not just food, is worth up to 4 trillion US dollars. Thailand earns 6.1 billion US dollars from the export which is less than 1% of that massive market. Therefore, there is enormous space in the market from which Thailand can benefit. Chiang Mai will be an important base for using this technology. The blockchain system will be used in the factories in the eight provinces in the upper northern region and Chiang Mai is a pilot province.

Asst. Prof. Dr. Paradorn Sureepong said that the Halal Science Center Chulalongkorn University in Chiang Mai has been established for 11 years. “We carry out activities and work together with our partners, including the Provincial Islamic Committee, university network, government, and private agencies, and the tourism sector as well as the industrial sector that helps set up a standard system which is an international standard and helps more than 300 SMEs export to the Muslim market. Apart from that, we also work on creating awareness and developing human resources, especially students to learn more about Halal industry standards whether in tourism or in the food industry and non-food industries such as cosmetics. There are many more issues regarding Halal. We need to develop and apply digital in order to move forward.”