The growth of Halal meat markets in Europe: an exploration of the supply side theory of religion

John Lever, Mara Miele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Over the last 15 years dedicated markets for halal meat have emerged in a number of European countries. While ethnic stores still constitute the major retail outlet for halal meat in most countries, ‘halal’ labelled meat and meat products are increasingly available in supermarkets and fast food restaurants. Market expansion has also facilitated the rise of new certification bodies, each with their own marketing strategies and interpretations of what constitutes authentic ‘halal’, who question the reliability of certification policies that allow the practice of stunning before slaughter.This paper offers a comparative analysis of these market trends and developments across four European countries. Based on research carried out during the EU funded Dialrel project, it draws attention to the ways in which EU legislation and WTO trade guidelines hinder attempts to standardize halal certification by giving equal weight to pre-stun and non-stun halal slaughter practices emanating from different regional schools of thought within Sunni Islam. Whilst recognising the impact of global politics on the identity claims of Muslim groups across Europe, the paper draws on Einstein's work on the ‘supply side’ theory of religion to demonstrate how the diverse halal practices evident in the marketing strategies of commercial and religious actors are now driving the rapid growth and development of halal meat markets across Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-537
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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