When cultures clash there will be fallout. Take Pauline Hanson’s rather bizarre attack on Halal certification and relevant branding of Easter Eggs from the Cadbury company.
Halal certification is presented as a major issue by its opponents. Curiously Kosher certification, a standard that has been applied to foods selected to be eaten by members of the Jewish faith, has never been subjected to the same scrutiny. Nor have the allocation of profits by Sanitarium, or the gifting of funds to the Australian Christian Lobby by the Gloria Jeans coffee chain, both Christian companies.
Halal certification is simply branding. It alerts people of the Islamic faith that the particular food is considered ‘clean’. In the case of meat, the sticker guarantees the animal has been treated with dignity and respect and not made to suffer. This is a subject of great debate, with some saying the standards are antiquated.
But in many respects this type of branding is simply no different to many other ‘add on’ brands that are perceived to add value to a product. For example ‘Made in Australia’, ‘Ethical’ branding on coffee, ‘Certified Organic’ (NASAA) and others do exactly same thing as Halal certification. Each product has a very small amount deducted from the sale of each item to pay for the license that permits the product to display such branding. It is generally very low and may be as low as a fraction of a cent.
Halal certification opens Australian products up to huge markets to the North such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other markets such as Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates, Qatar, etc.
All such licensing funds are overseen by ACCC legislation. Funds are tracked and monitored. With Halal certification, monies are generally directed to Education initiatives or social welfare programs organised and orchestrated by Muslim groups.
Branding is highly regulated. Trademarks must be registered. License agreements must be documented. Fund allocation must address the regulatory requirements of ASIC, the ACCC and the ATO.
So when you decide to purchase that chocolate bunny or the egg with a Halal symbol, rest easy. It’s really just another arm of marketing in action. Hope you get lots of chocolate this Easter – Happy Easter from all at MBC and have a great break.