South African consumers will soon be offered a Christian alternative to Halaal-labelled products.
The new ‘Christian Friendly’ label will give Christian consumers peace of mind that income generated will go to Christian organisations and not be used to finance the spread of Islam, said Etienne De Jager, a director of Christian Friendly Products (CFP), in an interview yesterday.
According to the newly registered non profit organisation’s information leaflet, although Muslims make up only about 2% of the South Africa population, more than 50% of SA food products are certified Halaal, resulting in millions of rands channeled into Islam each year — mostly as a result of the unconscious support of the Christian majority.
He called on Christians to get behind the CFP initiative by using the strength of their numbers to show suppliers that they want them to stock CFP-labelled products.
Christian consumers and suppliers can learn more about CFP and make contact with it by visiting the website www.christianfriendlyproducts.com which was launched this week. CFP aims to turn the tide by partnering and networking with companies and Christian organisations and has already established ties with mission organisations such as Operation Mobilisation, Open Doors, Egeiro Ministry and INcontext Ministries.
Products which carry the CFP label will not be allowed to bear a Halaal label, De Jager said. The CFP label will guarantee consumers that no prayers of dedication have been prayed over food products during meat processing. Suppliers will pay a small royalty fee for displaying the CFP label on their products but they will not face common ‘extra costs’ of Halaal accreditation such as inspection of facilities, transport and accommodation costs of inspectors, replacement of ‘contaminated’ equipment, and ongoing salaries for Muslim people who play ritual roles in the process.
Bertus Griebenow, another of CFP’s three Eastern Cape-based directores, said they have not yet asked any companies to carry their label on their products but they do have a few in mind who they will approach before their public launch. The launch date and venue will be announced soon.
De Jager, who served as a missionary with OM for 2 and a half years, said the venture was birthed just over a year ago after he read a book that explained how Halaal labelling contributes to Islamic mission.
“I prayed about it and God gave me an interesting scripture; John 6:27 which says ‘Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval’.
“What struck me was that God’s seal is upon His Son. I saw that the seal that is being put on food is the Halaal label and I realised we should have an alternative that will do the opposite: that will further the Kingdom of God, and strengthen the church”.