March 2022 : Shabaan 1443
During the recent termination of SANHA’s certification of the Frimax snack brand, the element of dual certification was cited as not being permitted by SANHA and that double standards were employed in allowing Frimax competitors to do so.
This was a diversionary ploy which was adequately responded to in the media and on radio and the truth revealed.
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To understand the concept fully, we outline ramifications and challenges of dual certification and the SANHA position.
At the outset, it is obvious that the main proponent and key decision maker on Halaal certification of a business, is the business owner himself and not the certifying body, armchair critics or social media trolls. As entrepreneurs, by dint of their skills and dedication, they have established successful enterprises that employ many people and actively contribute to the economy and society. Their success is attributed to a thorough understanding of their customers’ needs and providing products and services to meet such expectations.
Various factors are relied upon in ensuring that their products have a competitive edge to increase their market share. These include patented technologies, unique features, better pricing, packaging, service and enhancements that add value. Additional value-adds are endorsements by organisations and services such as a medical council, an industry guild or association, an influential personality as a brand ambassador, charitable contributions to the community, attaining and endorsement of quality standards e.g. ISO, Bureau of Standards, Good Food Society, Proudly South African, the Heart Foundation, the Vegetarian society, the Hindu Shuddah, Jewish Kosher and Halaal certification marks.
We recognise and accept the businessman’s freedom of choice and right to acquire any, dual or no certification and merchandising marks at all.
Generally, there is minimal demand for dual certification unless there is market driven expediency. No businessman will take on additional costs to have such an enhancement if there was no compelling need. SANHA has accommodated such agreements after due process and some that come to mind are that of a famous Durban butcher, a national supplier of cheese and an international brand of chips that have opted for dual certification among others.
The challenge in granting dual certification is one of managing differing standards. For example, some bodies would accept the use of gelatine from non-Halaal slaughtered animals, or ingredients such as colouring from cochineal insects or the use of imported mechanically deboned meat (MDM) from dubious sources, all of which SANHA would reject. Will some products have the one logo and others carry two? Which one takes precedence and how does one communicate this effectively to the consumer to avoid confusion across the product ranges?
Another problem encountered is with many businesses who do not understand the dynamics of Islamic Dietary Law, complexities of industry and varying Halaal standards. Many seek to take the simplest route of the least stringent option, which inadvertently leads to pitting one Halaal certification body against another. As an example, most poultry emanating from Europe with a signed Halaal certificate is machine-slaughtered which is unacceptable to SANHA but approved by other certifiers.
In the circumstance, SANHA grants dual certification under stringent rules and pre-conditions that do not compromise or jeopardise the Halaal standards we’ve upheld since inception. Arbitrarily introducing another Halaal mark without consultation and with no agreement governing dual certification, is a breach of certification protocols and will be subject to the necessary sanctions.
SERVING HALAAL – IT TAKES MORE THAN TWO TO TANGO