September 16, 2018

Asymmetric Information in the Halal Food Market - A Research Project

Understanding Halal Food: A Glimpse ...

People consume food not only to satisfy hunger but also for cultural, religious and social reasons. In Islam there is an emphasis on cleanliness in both spirit and food (Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, 2011), and eating is viewed as a form of worship (Talib, Hamid, & Chin, 2015). Halal food is based on Islamic dietary law derived from the Quran, Hadith (the practices of the Prophet Mohammad), Ijma (a consensus of legal opinion), and Qiyas (reasoning by analogy) (Regenstein, Chaudry & Regenstein, 2003). Halal goes beyond religious obligation; it is part of the Islamic way of life which includes not only dietary requirements, but also behaviour, speech, dress, and conduct (Talib, Hamid, & Zulfakar, 2015a). Furthermore, observing the tenets of halal can guarantee food safety and serve a business model for the Canadian export market. The benefit of halal notwithstanding, the lack of trust in the market has led to challenges such as authenticity and traceability.  This situation affects the different cultural groups that have migrated to the Canada, especially the Somalis, Syrians, Pakistanis, Afghanis and other Canadians who are in love with the taste of halal meat. Based on this premise, there is a need for policies that will strengthen the value chain of halal food and reduce asymmetric information.

Objectives of the research

The specific objectives of this research are
-To examine the trend in the production, marketing and consumption of halal meat in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
- To develop a conceptual framework which explains the relationship among variables such as trust, food safety, religious affiliation, authenticity, traceability, crypto labelling, government legislation, and consumption with respect to halal meat. 
-To assess the relationship between trust and traceability regarding halal meat.
-To identify the factors that affect asymmetric information in the halal meat sector in the GTA.
Anticipated significance and impacts of the proposed work

This study will lead to a better understanding of the halal food landscape, a list of conditions that ensure trust in the sector, demand estimates and policies that strengthens the value chain of the halal meat sector. It will benefit people within and outside the academic sector because it will proffer solutions on how to reduce asymmetric information in the halal and other food sectors. Overall, this study will be participatory and enable community based economic development.

Agriculture and Agri-food Canada. (2011, April). Global pathfinder report: halal food trends. Ottawa, ON: Government of Canada. Retrieved from

Regenstein J. M, Chaudry M. M & C. E. Regenstein (2003) The Kosher and Halal Food Laws. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety 2: 111-127.

Talib, M. S. A., Hamid, A. B. A., & Zulfakar, M. H.  (2015a). Halal supply chain critical success factors: a literature review. Journal of Islamic Marketing, 6(1), 44-71. Retrieved from

Bamidele Adekunle, ECVOntario, SEDRD, University of Guelph

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