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In a continuing series of revelations about the spread of Halal certification across the food manufacturing sector in the UK, AltNewsMedia has been made aware that Heinz may also have become Halal compliant. Does beanz meanz Halal? Before investigating this allegation, it is useful to take a moment to understand exactly what Halal certification actually means.
Many people believe that Halal refers to the particular way animals are (savagely) slaughtered but in fact it is much broader than that.
The Halal certificate is a document that guarantees that products and services aimed at the Muslim population meet the requirements of Islamic law. It covers a wide range of products. The Halal certificate is issued by various entities around the world. There is a cost issued with the providence of such certificates given that the Halal global market is valued at ¢1.6trillion.
Whether a company chooses to become Halal compliant is entirely a matter for it, however absolute transparency in communicating this to all of its consumers is vital. For example, in the UK 95% of the population do not require Halal compliant foods so it is crucial they are not forced to consume products that carry purely Islamic law on-costs. Further, does Islamic law traditions trump British law realities?
Heinz UK operates in Kitt Green, Orrell, Wigan in Greater Manchester. It is the largest food processing plant in Europe, and the largest H. J. Heinz facility in the world. Employing 1,200 people, the factory makes 1.5 million cans of Heinz Baked Beans per day, and more than 1 billion cans a year of their product range overall.
AltNewsMedia has been informed that this huge factory producing vast amounts of Heinz products is now Halal certified. AltNewsMedia contacted Heinz for comment and a spokesman said;
While a number of our products are vegetarian, we do not make any on pack claims that Heinz varieties meet Halal requirements given the complex nature of many our recipes, our production sites and the strict rules which apply to Halal products.
This does not quite answer the specific question posed. It is not whether “on pack claims” are being made that is being questioned. It is whether or not the Heinz facility at Kitt Green is operating Halal Certification? Has this factory initiated recent changes to ensure its production is fully in accordance with Halal certification? Were those working at this factory advised that a change had been made? Why would such a change have been made?
We have requested further further clarification from Heinz, without response.