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Saturday, February 9, 2013
In the interests of Marketing CBL drops Halal in Sri Lanka
In order to preserve Market Share CBL products
will remove ‘Halal’ logos from their products sold in Sri Lanka, once their
existing stock of packaging is exhausted and new packaging sans the label are
With the Bodu Bala Sena network gathering steam,
decrying any religious extremism, and washing their hands of the recent
Kuliyapitiya, Maharagama inflammatory episodes, are now concentrating their
vent on the whole aspect of ‘Halal’ certification saying it is NOT necessary.
They have therefore written to all the major food producers in Sri Lanka and
have asked them to remove Halal certification on locally sold products, and if
they wish to have Halal only have it for the Muslim community specifically in
Halal marked sections if people wish to purchase Halal.
The consequence of not conforming is to black ball the products of companies that refuse to conform with a lot of media coverage on their brand names. This is a very worrying development by the Bodu Bala Sena, and is an effective counter black mail to the original blackmail by the Halal certifying lobby, who wish to maintain that it was they who were asked to certify. Yes but not for every thing and not for the SL market, as it was meant for exports to countries that require certification.
They are taking on the certification issue head on
challenging the need or rationale for such a certification, especially as a marketing
tool within Sri Lanka on a range of products that have no relevance to "Halal", but are now made to be relevant all of a suddent.
CBL have decided to remove Halal certification
from their locally sold products without changing their processes. They
maintain that whilst they remove the cert, they effectively still comply, and
it is up to the Muslim community to believe them or take the word of the ACJU
that they should not consume their products, unless labeled so!
I know ACJU WILL NOT dare instruct their
community to boycott CBL products, as that will only inflame Bodu Bala Sena
more, and CBL will unwittingly become the champion and standard bearer of the
drop Halal campaign.
However it is now a marketing decision, as one
which will benefit them when compared with not removing the certification
label. They believe their sales will suffer otherwise!!
It is important now for the ACJU to understand that
they have created a monster in this certifying process, exacting anger, as it is
done to conform to a religious process of food preparation, that I believe has gone
out of hand, reaching areas it was never meant to reach, causing angst fear, mistrust
and divisiveness amongst other religions as to why products carry this logo. In
other religions they merely instruct their flock what to do, without asking for
a label. So this backlash against Halal, is a normal human emotion when pressed
into being involuntary consumers of a label with undertones that are not clear,
necessary and are overtly religious.