The success of the halal industry heavily relies upon its promotion machinery. Halal certification and the halal logo has power in and of itself. As quoted by a research paper on behavioural sciences, ‘Understanding Mechanisms to Promote Halal Industry: The Stakeholders’ Views by Rahimah Mohamed Yunosa, Che Faridah Che Mahmood , Nor Hafizah Abd Mansora, “Halal certified products provide assurance to the consumers in particular the Muslims that the product ingredients and their production processes are Shariah (Islamic law) compliance.” However, the mechanisms of halal promotion goes beyond certification.
Firstly, let’s examine what halal certification actually means. In the context of the halal food industry, it refers to the examination of food processes (preparation, slaughtering, ingredients used, cleaning, handling, processing and storage), including transportation and distribution. Halal certification can only be obtained when the food has been verified as nutritious and prepared from permissible ingredients in a clean and hygienic manner (Badruldin et al., 2011). Halal is a product attribute that cannot be verified by an individual consumer even after consuming the goods. Thus, Halal certification illustrates industrial convention, one of mechanisms of quality conventions and coordination that may be used to signal quality. The most important step in terms of promoting the industry then is to increase awareness of these conventions.
One of the ways to do so is to utilize people’s perception of halal products as green. On understanding halal principles and practices, one may realize that halal concept is also related to green. Halal certification focuses on the hygienic, quality, and safety aspects of the food and its preparation; while green management focuses on reducing the negative impact of human activities towards the environment. When halal branding is associated with eco-friendliness, a bigger demographic can be reached, especially in a world more increasingly health-conscious and environmentally aware. A halal logo is not the only variable considered by consumers.
More than just awareness, more importance needs to be placed upon the education of consumers. Educating the consumer is essential to highlight the benefits of consuming Halal food, not only to the non-Muslims but to the Muslims as well. Consumers need to understand better about: a) the procedures of Halal food production and its benefits; b) the credibility of Halal logo through understanding procedures of post certification; c) the roles of Halal agents in promoting the marketability of the Halal certified products. Rezai, Mohamed and Shamsudin (2012) reported that the non-Muslim consumers perceived Halal procedures of animal slaughtering is inhuman, made evident by the existence of the groups like Boycott Halal; even though Islamic way of slaughtering is one of the best way as it causes less pain compared to captive bolt stunning (Schulze & Hazim, 2001).
Mechanisms like exhibitions are integral too; in addition to the presence of vendors, it functions as a vital platform for education and awareness. Exhibitions tend to have press conferences which explains halal mechanisms like logistics, or booths by religious agencies of respective countries with informative material to aid their decisions. This is further boosted by the media, as broadcast television such as Halal TV or digital platforms, with focus on promoting halal awareness and products.