The High Demand for Real Halal
With Islam being one of the major world religions, there is a substantial global market for Halal products, which are those that are produced according to Muslim religious requirements. Although many Muslim consumers want to eat halal, researchers believe that “most consumers who prefer halal meat products are not aware of the halal supply chain principles.” It is often the case that halal products are sold right alongside the non-halal products (which is itself a violation of halal principles), and many consumers often accept halal labels without questioning their authenticity. “Since there is no way consumers can be completely sure that the meat that they are purchasing is halal,” researchers say, “they have no choice but to take it at face value,” which echoes a concern animal advocates have about animal welfare labels.
Researchers conducted this study of 200 consumers from Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia with the aim of investigating Muslim consumer preferences, demand for 100% halal meat products, and knowledge about halal supply chain requirements for food and meat products. The study was designed to answer two major questions: 1) Are consumers of halal meat products in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia aware of the requirements for a 100% halal supply chain, and 2) What is the demand for a 100% halal supply chain and are consumers willing to pay a premium for it? What they found was that consumers believed it was “very important” to meet and satisfy halal requirements at all stages of the process, and there should be “no compromise.” Further, the study showed that consumers are willing to pay an appropriate premium for items that follow a 100% halal supply chain. Researchers note that “companies and businesses should be aware that everyone who wishes to be working within the halal food industry, it is compulsory to practice self-monitoring rather than needing to be monitored by someone else.”
For animal advocates, studies like this show the large demand and rigorous requirements for halal food, including meat and other animal products. Farmed animal advocates would be well-advised to understand how halal regulations have an impact on animal welfare at different stages of the supply chain.