Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
About the Foundation
Home : Knowledge : Halal, an ecological utopia?

Halal, an ecological utopia?

The multitude of halal products in Western countries and the lack of an international standard makes some Muslim consumers more fastidious and wary of potential food fraud. Independent associations such as À Votre Service, have been created to guide individual consumers in their choices and on the dietary practices to adopt. The main concern of product traceability has resulted in an ethical code which advocates a return to roots in harmony with the environment.
Halal – écologie – environnement
© Getty Images - Kobe beef certified as halal, South Korea, 2015

The modern consumer and responsible food choices

“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.” This statement by the French gastronome, Brillat-Savarin, could in fact sum up the individual and social impact of food. The plate is often a reflection of value systems. How we choose the food we put on it may be motivated by our ethical stance and conscious social behaviour, as is the case for some young Muslims today. Faced with a plethora of halal certifications, product traceability can prove problematic. This desire to know where the product comes from and how it has been processed forms part of the identity of modern consumers, increasingly aware of the footprint that food leaves on their body and on the environment.

Consumer-dedicated associations

Various non-profit Muslim associations have been created to guide consumers through the jungle of labels. The most prominent, À Votre Service, is an organisation which controls, authenticates and certifies halal meat. Although it only represents around 4% of the halal meat market in France, its independence from the State, religious institutions and industry means it holds a lot of influence, especially among young people. It aims to see halal return to its roots by calling for transparency and using the internet as its main means of communication to openly denounce food fraud and advocate responsible food choices. This association is opposed to the overconsumption of meat and to wastage in general and promotes organic food. Its message with regard to halal assumes a universal dimension, as it forms part of a spiritual and ecological approach, in harmony with nature, whose scope extends beyond religious borders.

Calls for a single model

As regards producers, Malaysia, which has become the hub of the halal certification market, organises an annual international halal trade show (Malaysian International Halal Showcase), sponsored by the State. Its aim is to unite the international agri-business community around a single halal certification model. This model would be based on the ethical practices of fair trade and sustainability, in accordance with health protection regulations and with due regard to the welfare of nature and animals, producers and consumers.