Opportunities in halal

Spend in the UK halal food and beverage industry in 2016 reached an estimated £4.64 billion, or 8% of the UK’s total food and drink spend. Halal consumers eat more meat per capita than the general population, and although Muslims account for just under 5% of the UK population, they account for an estimated 20% of lamb consumption in England alone.

Halal is an Arabic term meaning things or actions that are lawful or permissible. When used in reference to food, it is food that is prepared in line with Islamic customs. With over 3 million Muslims in the UK, which is projected to grow to 5.5 million by the year 2030, the UK halal food sector is one that is of growing importance to the national economy.

Image of staff member Awal Fuseini

Awal Fuseini

Halal Sector Manager

AHDB and the halal market

The Halal sector presents opportunities for farmers and processors to diversify their production in order to cater for the growing demand for halal beef and lamb. AHDB has a dedicated halal Sector Manager, Awal Fuseini, who works closely with key stakeholders in the sector to create a better understanding of the requirements of halal meat production and to promote British beef and lamb to the domestic consumer and key buyers in the global halal marketplace. The following are some of the activities AHDB is involved in to promote beef and lamb to the Muslim community, and the production of educational resources to inform industry and consumers on important aspects of halal:

  • Promoting research on animal welfare and consumer behaviour
  • Development of recipes to promote beef and lamb as versatile and convenient products
  • Production of educational resources to highlight the importance of key religious festivals, and providing guidance on how farmers and processors can tap into the market
  • Showcasing of British beef and lamb at key local and international halal food events or expos
  • Creating a knowledge exchange platform between farmers and the Muslim community by organising visits to farms
  • Working in collaboration with industry bodies, animal welfare organisation, halal certification bodies and farmer associations to inform policy

Qurbani festival

Qurbani means sacrifice and is one of the most important festivals in the Islamic calendar, during which charitable acts are encouraged. Apart from its spiritual significance, there are significant economic benefits associated with the festival, as tens of thousands of animals (particularly small ruminants) are procured specifically for the festival annually. For an animal to be used for Qurbani, it needs to meet the specific requirements which are highlighted here.

The following documents have been produced by the FSA’s Partnership Working Group (PWG) Sub Group (SG) Work Stream 2 (Direct Sales of Qurbani), to guide Food Business Operators (FBO) participating in the delivery of partially chilled Qurbani carcasses directly to consumers or through butchers acting as consumers’ agents:

Demonstration of Life scheme

Food Business Operators (FBOs) wishing to participate in the Halal Assurance Scheme (Demonstration of Life) should first familiarise themselves with the prerequisites and then submit an application form for consideration. For further information about the scheme and application process, view this factsheet or email halal@ahdb.org.uk.

Publications

A range of cutting guides and publications designed to help maximise opportunities within the halal market:

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