Business on the halal battleground

Campaigners say halal certification fees serve as an unfair tax on non-Muslim consumers

NEWS that a South Australian agribusiness had been unfairly targeted by an anti-halal organisation, and as a result almost lost a $50,000 contract, is disappointing.

One of a number of anti-halal lobbyists, the Boycott Halal Facebook group urges its followers to bombard specific businesses with complaints in the hope they will cancel their halal registration.

The campaigners say halal certification fees serve as an unfair tax on non-Muslim consumers, or at worst fund terrorism.

As businesses are targeted one at a time, the negative messages can be overwhelming for small companies, especially if they are posted on the social media and can be readily seen by the general public.

This was the case for the Fleurieu Milk Company, which received an email asking if it was halal-accredited.

Its reply stating it was halal-accredited in order to secure a contract with a major international airline company was then shared with the Boycott Halal Facebook group, which in turn encouraged its 37,000 followers to bombard the company's Facebook page criticising its stand.

Within hours, the company decided to withdraw its halal registration for the sake of its brand and staff.

That decision triggered more outrage on social media, by those on the other side of the fence, with the company described as racist and those running it cowards for giving in.

It is disheartening to see how the company has been treated, from both sides, but the positive is that so far it has kept its contract.

But it is heartening to hear that meat and livestock industry representative bodies are developing a plan to help butchers and wholesalers in the line of fire.

This is particularly important because in the 12 months to September, South Australian businesses exported $839 million worth of goods to the Middle East.

Australian Meat Industry Council executive director Paul Sandercock said any links to terrorism were "tenuous" and dismissed the idea that there was a co-ordinated movement to force Australian businesses to pay for halal certification.

The guidelines are expected to be completed in the next few weeks.

Hopefully they will provide some much-needed advice, so businesses do not have to face what Fleurieu Milk Company did.

FarmOnline
Miranda Kenny

Miranda Kenny

is the editor of Stock Journal
Date: Newest first | Oldest first

READER COMMENTS

Sean
11/12/2014 8:49:41 AM

Maybe you guys should ask them, they didn't actually lose the Emirates contract which is just more evidence that you can provide a Halal product without having to fund the Muslim Mens Club through certification. Perhaps you should check with the source before blindly following all the other Media with incorrect information.
Sean
11/12/2014 8:55:51 AM

Edit to first post, but nice to see the media eventually get it right. Correct paste here - "If I choose to purchase an Australian product instead of a Chinese product, no media will call me a bully or a racist. If I choose a local product over an interstate product, no media will call me a bigot. If I choose cruelty free over factory farming no media will write an article calling me intolerant. I'm free to read labels and make a choice. But when I choose not to fund the halal industry I'm a bully, a racist, a bigot etc etc etc. My money, my choice? Only When it suite the media"
Mad Matt
11/12/2014 10:14:27 AM

Nothing more then a religious tax that we are being made to pay. and consumers should have the right to chose not to pay it, not companies being held to ransom and forcing it on us.
Frank Blunt
11/12/2014 11:20:28 AM

Al patriotic Australians should boycott ALL halal products. This country was founded on Christian principles , we are NOT a Muslim country .
Oscar
11/12/2014 1:18:37 PM

Mr Sandercock, so it doesn't fund terrorism, but do we pay more for the halal certified food? If so, is that fair?
Pete
11/12/2014 4:38:21 PM

If I went to the Pub and they had Irish Stew on the Menu that attracted a tax to the Irish Catholics , then I wouldn't order it, the same goes for Halal as far as I am concerned. I refuse to pay a religious tax to any religious organisation, I don't Believe in Sky Faries sorry! so I don't mind the Halal Label, it helps me know what not to buy!
Bushie Bill
11/12/2014 6:40:45 PM

Hey unSharp, we are a SECULAR country. The Constitution says so! Do you know what that means?
Tony Hogben
13/12/2014 10:07:49 PM

.....Gee, people write some uninformed, ignorant, rubbish at times.. for God's sake, engage brain before mouth...
Frank Blunt
22/12/2014 11:35:09 AM

Your asking the impossible from Bill, Tony.
A matter of opinionA selection of editorials from around the Fairfax Agricultural Media group covering the issues of the week.

COMMENTS

light grey arrow
I'm one of the people who want marijuana to be legalized, some city have been approved it but
light grey arrow
#blueysmegacarshowandcruise2019 10 years on Daniels Ute will be apart of another massive cause.
light grey arrow
Australia's live animal trade is nothing but a blood stained industry that suits those who