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 printed.

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.

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