With the entire globe having been impacted by COVID19 this has had severe impacts within the food supply chain. We have seen restaurant closures, aeroplanes grounded, schools closed, offices shut and food service as a whole having been impacted greatly.
At the early stage of the pandemic we witnessed panic buying of all commodities which resulted in shortages and price increases. As of today, however the marketplace looks very different which is causing uncertainty for manufacturers, suppliers and all involved in the supply chain. We have been advised by our members that they are having to stockpile products as no one is buying due to the closures within the food service sector as well as having to compete with imported poultry from the global supply chain.
Tahir Vaza CEO of Gafoor Poultry Ltd said – “COVID19 has impacted our business significantly especially over the past 6 weeks where we have had to compete against chicken coming in from Europe which is being dumped into the UK for next to nothing. Due to the global lock down there has been excess chicken available globally which is being bought up by consolidators/wholesalers and sold to your local butchers and restaurants at cheap prices.”
It has come to HMC’s attention that the majority of the imported poultry entering the UK is Gas killed, this is where chickens are killed inside a gas chamber, (please note that this is an unacceptable method for Halal processing as the animal must be alive at the time of slaughter).
Therefter, they are mechanically slaughtered with a rotary blade, (note, this method of killing is also unacceptable to the halal criteria according to majority scholars).
The question is “how do I know if I am eating mechanically or gas killed chicken?” Unfortunately, there is no easy solution other than to:
- Question your local butcher as to where they buy their meat and poultry from
- E-mail HMC to seek clarity as we may have an insight into where the poultry is coming from
- Buy from a HMC certified outlet as you can be confident that the shop is independently vetted, and a preventative measure is in place, to provide consumer confidence
Moulana Yunus Dudhwala, Chairman of HMC said – “The entire world is at a critical point and this is a time for true reflection for all. However, we continue to see unscrupulous acts of supplying doubtful and haraam products in the name of Halal. We have been provided images of products with traceability, and upon investigation with the Halal certification body of that respective country, we were advised that the product is not certified by them as it is gas killed, yet we see it being supplied in the UK.
I urge the community to be vigilant and take heed of what is going on in the Halal meat and poultry market”
HMC is the UK’s largest Halal certifying body, employing over 220 people. Last month alone, HMC staff spent 14,448 hours to ensure your food is genuinely Halal with 15,488 visits made to outlets nationwide. It is a registered charity and also a not for profit organisation. It is overseen by a voluntary body, the National Executive Committee that consists of mainly scholars who are the Trustees of the organisation. HMC has been set up to work in the favour of all Muslims and the consumer at large. HMC aims to regulate and at every point inspect Halal products from source to the consumer. HMC is committed to serving the Muslims and the wider community and it intends to provide peace of mind and security where required.