Australia: Halal certification needed so meat producers can grow exports

By Louise Yaxley, The World Today

sheep-17110Federal Liberal National Party Bruce Scott says that if Australia is to capitalise on jobs and exports in the rural sector, it needs to ensure its food is halal certified.

Mr Scott, who heads a parliamentary committee examining exports to the Middle East, said Australia was selling more food by value to the Middle East than to China.

He said halal certification was a prerequisite for exporting to the Middle East.

The Queensland-based MP said there were opportunities for Australia to expand its export market but that nothing should be taken for granted.

“The old saying the buyer is always right, we’ve got to make sure that we’re meeting buyer expectations and requirements for the export into those markets,” he said.

“It’s a bit like the Heart [Foundation] Tick — if you want a product that’s good for your heart, look for the heart tick.”

Mr Scott said Australia sold 10,000 lamb and mutton carcasses a day to the Middle East and that the demand for clean, green and fresh products was extraordinary.

He said he did not think his Coalition colleagues were opposed to halal certification but rather they had expressed concerns about the process of accreditation for the inspectors.

The veteran MP said he was open-minded about the costs and the structures governing the process of halal certification but said it needed to be open, accountable and have credibility.

He said halal certification would also provide jobs for Australian workers and that he did not believe the current public debate would jeopardise Australia’s exports into neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.