, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 35-47
Date: 07 Aug 2007

Religious values informing halal meat production and the control and delivery of halal credence quality

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Abstract

This paper investigates the socio-technical construction, quality control, and coordination of the credence quality attribute “halal” throughout the halal meat chain. The paper is framed within Actor-Network Theory and economic Conventions Theory. Islamic dietary laws or prescriptions, and how these are translated into production and processing standards using a HACCP-like approach, are discussed. Current halal quality coordination is strongly based on civic and domestic logics in which Muslim consumers prefer transacting with Muslim butchers, that is, individuals of known reputation with similar moral and religious obligations. The HACCP-like approach with identification of critical halal control points, as presented in this paper, fits with the industrial quality convention mechanism and ideally yields guaranteed and trustworthy halal credence quality, eventually marked by a halal meat label. The socio-technical construction of halal credence quality, for example with respect to ritual slaughter, and the quality coordination mechanism aimed at reducing halal quality uncertainty among Muslim consumers, for example through labeling, are identified as key attention points in the future research agenda.