Disagreement at heart of Eblex halal strategy change, claims source

Issues in Eblex’s halal steering group, in part, led the organisation to pull the plug and launch a forum, information from a MeatInfo.co.uk source suggests.

The steering group, which was created in 2010 to help shape the way Eblex works with the halal sector, was disbanded earlier this month and substituted for a forum. A source who worked with the steering group suggested this was because the group was ineffective, due to disagreements being a recurring issue.

“What happened [to the steering group] is that it did not work well as a group of people. Some people tried to undermine other people. Some people in the group were not happy in it,” the source said.

MeatInfo.co.uk was also told that some members of the steering group had to meet with Eblex separately because of these issues. “I didn’t have any issues or problems of people talking on individual levels. There were questions asked about why there couldn’t be more meetings as one group,” we were told.

It was the purpose of the group to be reactive to the halal market and work together to achieve the best for the sector: “If they want more stunned meat, then they can get that and if they want more non-stunned, then they can get it”, the source said. However, it was the intention of some group members to promote one over the other, the source added.

The source furthered: “They tried to bring the group back together and bring in some new people, more certifiers were involved, but the group didn’t function as a group.”

However the source also said that the forum would be “more transparent and open” and would also “work on transparency”.

An Eblex spokesman neither confirmed or denied the claims, but said: “In response to feedback from members of the steering group and from the wider halal sector, in the interests of transparency and openness, we believe a forum-style is the best format for these important meetings.”

The spokesman also explained that the steering group was disbanded because “the message we were getting from the halal sector was that we needed to consult more widely”. He revealed that the first forum would probably be chaired by Eblex chairman John Cross and anyone involved in the halal sector would be welcome to attend.


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