Editor’s note: The Australian Prayer Network office is closed to allow staff to undertake major prayer assignments in restricted nations. This abridged newsletter was prepared prior to their departure for overseas and may therefore not contain up to date information. Full newsletter service will resume from 24 September.
Dick Smith recently made the following statement in response to many people asking him of his attitude towards Halal Certification of his food products.
“We have received a number of letters from people asking if we will be putting the Muslim Halal logo on our food. To acquire Halal certification, payment is required to the endorsing body and involves a number of site inspections of both our growers and processors in order to ensure that our practices comply with the conditions of Halal certification. It is important to note that this does not reflect the quality of the food being processed or sold – it only means that the products are approved as being prepared in accordance with the traditions of the Muslim faith.
We are aware of an increasing number of large companies both in Australia and overseas, such as Kraft and Cadbury, who have obtained accreditation to use the Halal logo. We don’t believe they have done this because of any religious commitment but rather for purely commercial reasons. Perhaps these large organisations can afford to do this. While we have a choice however, we would prefer to avoid unnecessarily increasing the cost of our products in order to pay for Halal accreditation when this money would be better spent continuing to support important charitable causes where assistance is greatly needed.
We point out that we have never been asked to put a Christian symbol (or any other religious symbol) on our food requiring that we send money to a Christian organisation for the right to do so.