UK: Forum shows support for Halal assurance scheme

| 29/10/2013 | Reply

EBLEXA Halal assurance scheme would be used by up to 95 per cent of the sector’s suppliers, a poll has revealed.

Delegates at EBLEX’s first Halal forum, dedicated to airing issues affecting the Halal market and identifying where work should be focused to bring most benefit to the supply chain, overwhelmingly showed their support for the proposed scheme.

The event marked the start of a three-month consultation on the proposals, which could feature clear on-pack labelling to aid consumer choice, giving everyone the chance to have their say.

“While the polling we did at the event will not form part of the consultation, it gave a very clear message that the Halal sector wants an assurance scheme, is keen to get behind one that is workable and wants to help consumers make informed choices,” said Nick Allen, EBLEX sector director, who chaired the event in Warwickshire.

“Not only will it help demonstrate high standards in processing for Halal sheep meat, but it is also about giving consumers choice about what they are buying and a level of transparency that it has been suggested is currently missing.

“The draft proposals we have put together has different schemes for both stunned and non-stunned Halal which would be clearly labelled on the product. This is what consumers are asking for and this is what we are responding to.”

More than 60 delegates attended the event, with representatives from all parts of the Halal supply chain. They saw presentations on consumer behaviour, new legislation and details of the proposed assurance scheme before having the chance to air their own views and debate issues within the sector.

EBLEX chairman John Cross, who opened and closed the forum, said: “This is a very important sector and this process is vital for its future success. An assurance scheme will underpin any promotional work for Halal so it is vital we get this right.

“This cannot happen without input from the sector, where we know there is a diverse range of views. England has a diverse population and as an organisation we need to respect and support that where we can.

“I would urge everyone with a vested interest to get involved in the consultation on the proposed Halal assurance scheme.”

Cross, who spoke to halal meat company bosses in Coventry on 24 October, said 2.8m people in England and Wales were part of the Muslim community. “Fifty per cent of the total sheep meat market in the UK is halal, and 80% is stunned and 20% is non-stunned,” he added.

Eblex’s proposed assurance scheme will undergo a consultation period, which the industry can give feedback on, until 14 January 2014. Following the consultation period, Eblex will host its second Halal Forum to relay the industry’s feedback in early 2014.

Two assurance marks have been proposed by Eblex, along with standards for processors to abide by, to be part of the proposed scheme. Laura Bishop, Eblex marketing manager for quality schemes, said before the first Forum last week that the assurance scheme could be similar to its current Quality Standard Mark (QSM).

“Particularly with the Red Tractor and QSM not being able to go on a product that hasn’t been stunned, this is something we have had in the process for a while,” she noted.

– See more at: http://www.meatinfo.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/16303/Eblex_proposes_halal_assurance_marks.html#sthash.oM4pxPHu.dpuf

The proposals initially cover sheep meat only.

You can take part in the consultation by visiting http://www.eblextrade.co.uk/halal

ARTICLE TWO

Consultation opens for Halal assurance

A consultation is now underway for a proposed Halal assurance scheme to provide consumers with information about how their meat was slaughtered.

Delegates at EBLEX’s first Halal forum discussed issues affecting the Halal market and identified where work should be focused to bring most benefit to the supply chain.

The event marked the start of a three-month consultation on the proposals, which initially cover post farm gate sheep meat only. They could feature clear on-pack labelling to aid consumer choice.

Nick Allen, EBLEX sector director and forum chair said: “The draft proposals we have put together has different schemes for both stunned and non-stunned Halal which would be clearly labelled on the product.

“Not only will it help demonstrate high standards in processing for Halal sheep meat, but it is also about giving consumers choice about what they are buying and a level of transparency that it has been suggested is currently missing,” said Mr Allen.

More than 60 delegates attended the event including NFU animal health and welfare adviser Catherine McLaughlin and representatives from all parts of the Halal supply chain. They saw presentations on consumer behaviour, new legislation and details of the proposed assurance scheme before having the chance to air their own views and debate issues within the sector.

Someone has to do it

Concluding, however, Cross said there needed to be a starting point to something like an assurance mark that the whole industry could use. “Someone has to do it – we are the industry body and it is our job to do it,” he stated.

“We are not promoting a view, England has a very large and diverse population and all consumers have a right to an informed choice – it’s a fundamental right and they will vote with their money and they will shop the market.”

– See more at: http://www.meatinfo.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/16303/Eblex_proposes_halal_assurance_marks.html#sthash.oM4pxPHu.dpuf

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Europe, Halal Integrity, Meat & Poultry, Media & Events, UK

Leave a Reply