‘Industry’s halal forum lacks focus on Muslims’

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Unannounced audits will increase
Unannounced audits will increase

Related tags: Meat

A new industry forum set up to discuss halal meat production issues fails to focus on Muslims’ main concerns and shows the industry’s understanding of the Muslim community to be “lagging behind”, according to the Halal Authority Board.

Shaykh Tauqir Ishaq, head of certification at the Halal Authority Board – a body that monitors halal standards – said the Halal Forum – formed by the English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX) – was focusing on transparency, which was not the main concern of those who consumed halal food.

‘Lagging behind’

“I am surprised the industry is lagging far behind on what the Muslim public expects,”​ said Ishaq. “This forum will be a talking shop, but not one that has any teeth to it. There needs to be more research into our needs. More research into the frequency of stunning, gas stunning and the different types of animal cruelty taking place.”

Lack of trust in suppliers, mislabelling of halal products and the vulnerability of Muslims to food fraud are other issues Ishaq said EBLEX should focus on.

“It is up to us as Muslims to do more. We will do more DNA testing, increase the frequency of unannounced audits and bring scholars together to discuss current issues,”​ he added.

Open up dialogue

Ishaq, however, welcomed the opportunity to open up dialogue with government and suppliers.

The Halal Forum replaces the Halal Steering Group and will meet twice a year. It is open to anyone involved in halal lamb or beef production to discuss the sector's challenges and opportunities.

The organisation will seek to engage with the full spectrum of the Halal sector representatives, said EBLEX chairman John Cross: “There will be no specifically appointed members but it will be open to anyone who has an interest in the halal sector, ensuring transparency and openness in discussion on relevant issues.”

Related topics: Meat & poultry, Manufacturing

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Halalan Thoyyiban

Posted by Pengiran Sham,

I'm not surprised at all of what's happening in the UK and most part of the world. Producers should not only practice halal slaughter but they must also look at storage and transportation as well. A non-Muslim worker can easily transfer non-halal DNA to the products they touch. I believe Halalan Toyyiban is the solution, and we can probably learn something from Malaysia.

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Certification Bodies

Posted by Pengiran Sham,

There are too many Halal certification bodies in the UK. We can probably learn something from Malaysia where they are in advanced stages of correcting the flaws. There's only one certification body in Malaysia, Halal JAKIM. There used to be many but not anymore. It will only confuse Muslim consumers.

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Certification Bodies causing confusion

Posted by Mushtaq Iman,

I was surprised to see HAB, the Halal Authority Board, making such statements, when it can't be transparent on its own Halal principles!

The Halal industry will never be clean until Halal Certification bodies stop issuing certificates willy nilly to companies using stunning methods on cattle & sheep!

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