Halal issues within the meat sector are to be given greater focus following the establishment of a new industry group.
The Halal Steering Group, made up of nine members, has been put together to guide work in the Halal sector and act as a forum for issues related to Halal meat and will meet for the first time early in the New Year.
The move follows several months of dedicated work by Eblex and industry, looking at Halal and putting together a DVD – The Quality Meat Supply Chain for the Muslim Consumer – to help farmers, consumers and public sector caterers understand how Halal meat is produced here in England and to dispel some myths.
Eblex board member Simon Warren, who will chair the new group, said: “Strict rules govern Halal slaughter and it is vital that the whole food chain understands them and adheres to them if they want to supply the Halal sector.
“Because of these strict rules there are a number of issues relating specifically to Halal supply that need to be managed by the industry. Eblex has a duty to ensure that all levy-payers are represented and this steering group will ensure that we have a clear process for looking at Halal issues as they arise and driving work forwards.”
Mohammad Nazir, Chairman of the European Halal Development Agency, said: “This is a significant development not only for the Halal meat market but also for the Muslim consumer. Eblex has taken a bold step in looking to develop a strategy to support the development of the Halal Food chain.”
The members of the steering group are Naved Syed (Janan Meat), Ryan Williams (Eblex), Adam Quinney (NFU), Rizvan Khalid (Euro Quality Lambs), Norman Bagley (Association of Independent Meat Suppliers), David Mainon (Asda), Mullan Younes (Halal Monitoring Committee) and Dr Shuja Shafi (Muslim Council of Britain).