HOW OUR CHICKEN PRODUCERS ARE BEING PLUCKED
Kirralie Smith is the creator of the halal choices website, shopping guide book and phone app and an expert on halal certification of foods and supermarkets in Australia www.halalchoices.com.au
A few weeks ago Chris Smith interviewed me on Sydney’s 2GB radio along with a Mr Ahmed Kalini from the ‘halal-certification industry’, as he was introduced to listeners. Mr Kalini was trying to insist that halal certification fees are miniscule and are not passed on to the consumer. I disagreed.
So, hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees and wages are not passed on to the consumer? Yeah right!
I came across this report on the Islamic website Muslim Village. Besides demonstrating how much inconsistency and in-fighting there is among Muslims trying to get a foothold in the lucrative certification business, it contains some other interesting facts.
The fascinating thing is that this article is co-authored by none other than Mr Ahmed Kalini. In it he reports that at least six Muslim-only slaughtermen are on site at any one time for Red Lea chickens.
You would have to assume it would be the same case at Steggles, Baiada and Inghams who also pay halal certification fees.
The report says,
“With regards to the Halal certification of Red Lea, Dr Anas informed us that Red Lea maintains a strict compliance with the rules of Halal machine slaughter permissible in the Shafi school of Islamic jurisprudence. Red Lea complies by having at least six Muslim slaughter men on the production line at any one time. The first slaughterman physically touches each chicken and recites the Tasmiyah [“Bismillah Allahu Akbar”] just as the mechanical blade slaughters each chicken. Another two slaughtermen are positioned after the mechanical blade to hand slaughter any chicken missed by the mechanical process. Another Muslim is on standby in the slaughter room to fill in for any man that may to leave the line during the kill. Of the two remaining Muslims, one is on a rotating break whilst the other manages the sleeping gas [CO2] given to the chickens before they are slaughtered.”
And this doesn’t increase the cost of these chickens?
A chicken processing plant pays around $40,000 a year for halal certificates. Add to the $40,000 the wages of six Muslim-only halal slaughtermen and I think you are looking at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
These six men are employed for the purpose of Islamic religious practices only and don’t seem to fulfil any other purpose concerned with the actual processing of the chicken. And we are meant to swallow the rhetoric that the company absorbs the cost?