Serving a heterogeneous Muslim identity? Private governance arrangements of halal food in the Netherlands

Laura Kurth*, Pieter Glasbergen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    13 Citations (Web of Science)


    The consumption of halal food may be seen as an expression of the Muslim identity. Within Islam, different interpretations of ‘halal’ exist and the pluralistic Muslim community requests diverse halal standards. Therefore, adaptive governance arrangements are needed in the halal food market. Globalization and industrialization have complicated the governance of halal food. A complex network of halal governors has developed from the local to the global level. In this paper, we analyze to what extent halal certification bodies in the Netherlands address the needs of the Muslim community and how they are influenced by international halal governance. The Netherlands serves as a case study with its growing Muslim community and its central position in international trade. The data comes from literature review and eleven qualitative
    semi-structured interviews with the most prominent actors in the Dutch halal governance system. Our analysis shows that the halal governance system in the Netherlands is weakly institutionalized and hardly adaptive to the needs of a heterogeneous Muslim community. Improvements are needed concerning stakeholder engagement, transparency, accessibility, impartiality and efficiency.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)103-118
    Number of pages16
    JournalAgriculture and Human Values
    Issue number1
    Early online date25 Apr 2016
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


    • Halal
    • Islam
    • Identity
    • Food
    • Governance
    • Certification
    • MARKET
    • MEAT
    • 1ST

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