Partnerships and the global halal food market
Laura Kurth with Prof. P. Glasbergen and Prof. P. Martens
Voluntary sustainability standards try to regulate the physical and social implications of food production beyond the health and safety regulations taken by governments. These standards may be based on humanitarian or ecological considerations by civil society. They may also be based on economic interests of resource security by businesses. An analogy exists between these voluntary sustainability standards and religiously motivated standards (RMS) that are grounded in a religious moral, including spiritual health and food production traditions. Both impose additional voluntary regulation on businesses that are coming forth from normative assumptions about the ‘good food’. For religious groups, this food moral is grounded in the Holy Scriptures, such as the Qur’an or the Torah, and in religious records, e.g. the Sunnah or the Talmud. These normative assumptions are no objective scientific facts, but may face contestation by civil society, governments and the market.
Laura’s research will deal with the question how we can understand the politics of contesting worldviews in the (global) halal food market. For this purpose, she will develop three different perspectives on the topic: Halal identity in a multicultural society, public-private relations regarding Halal, and the legitimacy of Halal certification. Halal has been chosen as case study, because the Muslim community is the fastest growing population in Europe, which adheres to RMS. Moreover, every fourth person in the world consumes halal food.