UK: Over 3,000 Halal butcher shops ignored during National Butchers’ Week 2016

National Butchers’ Week 2016 – 14th to 20th March.  Over 3000 independent halal british meatbutcher shops have been ignored due to their religious’ beliefs.

This week Butchers up and down the country have been celebrating in a variety of exciting and innovative ways, all in an effort to promote the trade and encourage shoppers to buy local.

It is now eight years since ‘National Butchers Week’ was founded by Meat Trades Journal and funded by Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) to promote the skills of butchers throughout the UK.  AHDB is a Levy Board which represents cattle, sheep, pigs, milk, potatoes, cereals, oil seeds and horticulture.

A levy is collected at the point of slaughter, or the point of sale in the case of live exports. AHDB collect levy from nearly 200 abattoirs across England. It is estimated that the halal sector pays in excess of £7.1 million in levy per annum.

Clearly AHDB’s  activities appears not to address the needs of the UK Halal meat industry or representative of the levy income the halal sector sector pays.

Over 3000 independent halal butchers shop have been ignored and excluded by AHDB this week due to their religious’ beliefs, this year’s National Butchers week 2016 has had internationally renowned chef Jamie Oliver supporting this initiative. I wonder would he support the same initiative when over 60% of the independent Halal butcher shops have been excluded because of selling halal meat?

A recent study conducted by Trends Business Research (TBR), due to be published later this month, stated that Independent butchers delivered £2.3bn in turnover and £555m in gross added value in England alone in 2015 according to the latest figures from AHDB Beef and Lamb and employing 26,140. 60% of the turnover coming from Muslim Halal butchers is equivalent to £1.38bn turnover that has been excluded by the national butchers week 2016 this week.
The likes of Quality Standard Mark (QSM) for beef and lamb also does not recognise religious halal meat and has excluded the halal independent Muslim butcher due to religious beliefs.

     Mohammed Saleem
dvisor to the Halal Industry and the EU and UK Parliamentarians