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

Lever, John ORCID: and Miele, Mara ORCID: 2012. The growth of Halal meat markets in Europe: an exploration of the supply side theory of religion. Journal of Rural Studies 28 (4) , pp. 528-537. 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2012.06.004

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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.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animal welfare; Halal meat markets; Religious slaughter; Supply side theory of religion; Third party certification
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0743-0167
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 08:46

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