Sometimes it seems the entire world exists within our walls. In our plant in Roermond, more than 250 dedicated employees from 18 nationalities work tirelessly each and every day to prepare high-quality halal meat products and dispatch them to destinations around the globe.
As a food supplier, we understand the significance of respecting the needs and requirements of diverse cultures and religions. In this blog, we invite you to embark on a journey through the realm of halal food.
The term "halal," which translates to 'permissible' or 'lawful' in Arabic, refers to food that complies with Islamic law (Sharia) and is deemed permissible for consumption. It encompasses not only what we eat but also how it is prepared and processed. The central tenets of halal food involve adhering to specific guidelines, including the use of particular slaughter methods, avoidance of certain ingredients, and prevention of contamination with impure substances. Equally important is ensuring the animals enjoy a good quality of life, guaranteeing that they have had a happy and healthy life. The method of slaughtering determines the halal status of meat, as meat is considered pure when it no longer contains blood. It is also crucial that the animals face Mecca during slaughter, and the words "Bismillah, Allahoe Akbar" (In the name of God, God is the greatest) are recited by the butcher out of reverence and gratitude. The meat preparation process also adheres to specific guidelines, with transparency, hygiene, and packaging playing significant roles.
It is a misconception that many foods are strictly prohibited in Islam. Only blood and pork, for instance, are always forbidden. Islam is otherwise very tolerant regarding what one can eat, especially when no other options are available.
"Say, 'I do not find within that which was revealed to me [anything] forbidden to one who would eat it unless it be a dead animal or blood spilled out or the flesh of swine - for indeed, it is impure - or it be [that slaughtered in] disobedience, dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], then indeed, your Lord is Forgiving and Merciful.'" (Surah Al-An'am, 6:145)
With a growing global population of over 1.8 billion Muslims, the demand for halal food has seen a tremendous surge. This has led to an expanding international market for halal products and services. We recognize that tapping into this market is not only an opportunity for business growth but also a means to embrace cultural diversity and foster understanding among different communities.
No fewer than 18 nationalities work at Simons Halal Food! Our strength lies in this diversity. A recent employee satisfaction survey conducted earlier this year (2023) has shown that this was important for our employees: :
- "Colleagues are very diverse; it is a good place to get acquainted with other cultures."
- "There is mutual understanding among colleagues, despite, or perhaps thanks to, the language barrier."
- "I am learning other languages through interactions with colleagues from different backgrounds."
One of the most fascinating aspects of halal food is its slight variations across various countries and regions. While the fundamental principles of halal food remain consistent, interpretations and practices can vary based on cultural traditions and regional beliefs.
Ensuring the authenticity of halal food is of paramount importance. Therefore, we have our meat products internationally assessed by recognized organizations to confirm their compliance with established guidelines. Organizations overseeing Simons Halal Food and our products include Halal Quality Control and Halal Europe.
This not only signifies our adherence to halal standards but also underscores our commitment to ingredient transparency, sustainability, and fair trade practices.
You can find more information about the certifications on our website.
As both an employer and food supplier, we have the unique opportunity to build bridges between cultures and communities through the production and distribution of halal food in the international market. Popular halal meat products such as sucuk, luncheon meat, hot dogs, and other sliced meats find their way to most Islamic countries. Understanding the diverse interpretations and practices of halal food in different countries and regions is crucial for success and for making a positive impact on the global society.
Let’s work together towards a world where respect for religious beliefs goes hand in hand with culinary diversity.
At Simons Halal Food, we work together with mutual respect for each other's opinions and convictions. If you believe you are a team player eager to contribute to delicious halal products, we encourage you to take a look at our new website, particularly our careers page.