Unilever warns it will sell off brands that hurt the planet or society

Unilever has warned it will sell off brands that do not contribute positively to society, with British favourite Marmite and Magnum ice-cream among the big names thought to be vulnerable to a cull linked to the company’s sustainable business agenda.


Three-quarters of Unilever’s 2018 turnover growth was accounted for by brands in its Sustainable Living portfolio


Unilever’s chief executive Alan Jope said it was no longer enough for consumer goods companies to sell washing powders that make shirts whiter or shampoos that make hair shinier because consumers wanted to buy brands that have a “purpose” too.


Unilever has tasked its marketers with devising sustainable business plans for its portfolio of more than 400 brands, with Marmite, Magnum and Pot Noodle thought to be among the businesses that will need to find a raison d’être if they are to remain part of the group in the long term.


“Can these brands figure out how to make society or the planet better in a way that lasts for decades?” said Jope, outlining the company’s thinking. Unilever is not working to a set timetable but Jope, who took over from Paul Polman in January,said it was possible that a brand or even whole product category “is not going to be able to find its purpose”.


His comments raised the possibility of the company selling off profitable brands, potentially hurting the bottom line, but Jope said: “Principles are only principles if they cost you something.”


Unilever points to the success of its Sustainable Living brands – a group of 28 that includes Dove, Hellmann’s and Sunsilk – which are growing much faster than the rest of the business. The brands, which accounted for more than half of the group’s €51bn (£46bn) sales last year, are those that are the furthest ahead on meeting the company’s sustainability goals, which include increasing the positive impact it has on communities.


Unilever is also looking at ways to respond to shoppers’ concerns about single-use plastic, with the launch of Cif refills (so spray bottles can be reused) and wrapper-less multipacks for its Solero ice-cream lollies. Jope said its sales data had not detected a change in shopper behaviour yet but there was evidence of attitudes changing amid heightened debate about the environment.


ope’s comments came as Unilever updated investors on its performance in the first six months of 2019. Operating profits were up slightly at €4.6bn (£4.1bn) that fell short of analyst expectations of €5bn. The 3.5% increase in underlying sales for the second quarter was slightly weaker than expected.


Although many parts of Europe are experiencing record temperatures, the company said the cool start to the summer season had hit demand for its ice-cream brands, which also include Cornetto. The shares closed down 2% at £48.96.


Steve Clayton, the manager of HL Select funds which holds a position in Unilever, said: “Unilever themselves describe their markets as mixed, and most investors will look at these numbers as something of a curate’s egg.”

Ukraine have already exported almost 7 million tons of grain

From the beginning of the new 2019-2020 marketing year (MY, July 2019 – June 2020), Ukrainian farmers exported 6.9 million tons of grain as of August 22, the press service of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food said. In particular, wheat was exported 3.7 million tons, barley – more than 1.6 million tons, corn – 1.7 million tons. In addition, during the reporting period, farmers supplied 40.6 thousand tons of wheat flour to foreign markets.


As UNIAN reported earlier, in 2018-2019, agrarians exported 49.7 million tons of grain, which is a record in the history of state independence. The previous grain export record in Ukraine was recorded in 2016-2017 MY at the level of 43.8 million tons. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the grain crop in Ukraine in 2018 amounted to a record 70.1 million tons.



Read the details on UNIAN

Africa Halal Week 2019

Africa Halal Week is a joint collaboration between WESGRO, Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) and the City of Cape Town. Africa Halal Week aims to highlight business opportunities presented by the Halal market on the continent, with particular attention on the Halal industry in the Western Cape. 


Africa Halal Week will foster business linkages and conversations as well as highlight opportunities spanning across sectors including Tourism, Islamic Banking, Modest Fashion, Film and Media Promotion, Cuisine, Investment and Trade opportunities in South Africa, Africa and the rest of the Muslim World. 

Africa Halal week Date: 7 – 9 October 2019
Venue: Cape Town International Convention Centre, 1 Lower Long Street, Cape Town, 8001
Show days:
7 October 2019: Africa Halal Week Conference (09h00 – 17h00), Networking Mocktail (18h00 – 20h00)
8 October 2019: Africa Halal Week Expo (09h00 – 17h00), Gala Dinner (18h00 – 23h00)
9 October 2019: Africa Halal Week Expo (09h00 – 17h00)

Philippine food giant San Miguel eyes exports to Gulf Arab states after halal certification

Philippine food giant San Miguel eyes exports to Gulf Arab states after halal certification.


Philippines’ The Pure Foods Hormel Company is eyeing exports to the Gulf Arab states after two of its facilities received halal certification.


The company, created in 1999 as a joint venture of the country’s largest F&B firm San Miguel and U.S.-based Hormel, manufactures processed meat products in the Philippines.


The Pure Foods Hormel’s facilities for the production of Purefoods Corned Beef and Tender Juicy Chicken Franks are halal-certified by UAE-based Prime Group, the certifier said in a statement on Sunday.

In Ukraine, increased meat and egg production

Over six months, 1.6 million tons of meat, 4.8 million tons of milk, as well as 8.6 billion eggs were produced.


UNIAN The volume of meat production in Ukraine in January-June 2019 amounted to 1.6 million tons (in live weight), which is 5.3% more than in the same period last year, the State Statistics Service said. According to the State Statistics Service, milk production in the country in January-June decreased by 3.4% to 4.8 million tons. At the same time, egg production increased by 5% – up to 8.6 billion pieces.


The State Statistics Service noted that the data do not take into account information from the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol and part of the temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Lugansk regions. As UNIAN reported earlier, in 2018, meat production in Ukraine increased by 1% – up to 3.3 million tons, milk – decreased by 2% – up to 10 million tons, eggs – increased by 4%, up to 16.1 billion pieces.


Read the details on UNIAN

Belgium tests EU rules on halal and kosher slaughter

It is the last year that Mohamed Bouezmarni can help sacrifice around 200 sheep in a southern Belgian slaughterhouse for the Muslim festival of  Eid al-Adha.

From September 1, the French-speaking region of Wallonia will be the second Belgian authority after Flanders to ban halal and kosher slaughter as it moves to prohibit killing animals without prior stunning. The bans are the result of a long push by animal welfare activists, but Jewish and Muslim groups fear they are also a sign that the anti-immigrant sentiment of right-wing Flemish nationalists has captured Belgium’s political mainstream.

Lamenting this impending legal obstacle to a festival that he describes as “the equivalent of Christmas,” Bouezmarni, the head of the Muslim association in the town of Arlon, feared that sacrifices could be driven underground.

“Everyone will do it at home, or in some corner, hidden from view. I think that’s not [the animal activists’] aim,” he said.

While traditional slaughter without stunning has already been banned in EU countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Slovenia, Belgium is turning into a critical test case of where the line lies in European law between animal welfare and religious freedom. Belgium’s Constitutional Court has called on the European Court of Justice to issue a judgment on the ban in Dutch-speaking Flanders, which was introduced on January 1.

“I think that the anti religious slaughter bills are much more to do with two-legged animals, than four-legged animals” — Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis

That court ruling should come within the next two years and set a precedent for the whole of Europe.

A matter of life and death

When the Walloon and Flemish parliaments voted for the bans almost unanimously in 2017, it was a huge victory for GAIA, Belgium’s animal welfare lobby which styles itself as “the voice of the voiceless.”

Its president, Michel Vandenbosch, has campaigned against religious slaughter for over 20 years. “You can’t let, in a modern secular society, religion decide,” he said. “If it can be prevented, it should be prevented.”

This debate, though, has not always been exclusively about animal welfare. For some, there is a sense that far-right politicians in Flanders used animal suffering as a Trojan horse to push a populist anti-Muslim agenda.

Six members of Flemish far-right party Vlaams Belang, including its President Tom Van Grieken, made a parliamentary proposal to ban religious slaughter in May 2015.

A representative of Belgium’s Collective Against Islamophobia (CCIB) said: “In the past it was only a party like the Vlaams Belang that called for the banning of slaughter …  the vocabulary, the discourse, or the ideology of Vlaams Belang has … become popularized in Flanders, through the N-VA.” The right-wing New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) oversaw the introduction of the ban.

In a 2018 report, the independent research center CRISP in Belgium found that for a considerable number of politicians and members of the broader public, the concept of ritual slaughter was limited to the annual Eid al-Adha, festival of sacrifice. The report states: “In a context of increasing hostility to Islam, the extreme right has seized on this issue, and willingly used shocking images to convince the public of the ‘savagery of this foreign-imported custom’.”

GAIA’s Vandenbosch accepted that, in the past, the debate around ritual slaughter “was something you didn’t talk about because it had this unpleasant smell, because … it’s a bit racist.” But he said the issue was now viewed differently. “We took this out of the hands of the extreme right.”

Pinchas Goldschmidt, the president of the Conference of European Rabbis, disagreed, stating that the Muslim community was being targeted, with Jews left as the “collateral damage.”

“I think that the anti [religious slaughter] bills are much more to do with two-legged animals, than four-legged animals,” he quipped.

Despite launching separate legal challenges, Belgian Muslims and Jews feel like they are in the same boat.

“If there is one positive thing that happened from these new attempts to curtail religious freedom it is bringing the Jewish and Muslim communities closer together,” Goldschmidt said. Imams and rabbis launched the Muslim Jewish Leadership Council in Vienna in 2016 to campaign on issues of religious freedom across Europe together.

Cultural schism

The gulf between animal rights activists and religious communities, however, could hardly be more stark.

Wallonia’s Animal Welfare Minister Carlo Di Antonio played down the idea that the laws posed an insuperable problem for religious practice. “The Walloon decree was finalized in such a way as to respect freedom of religion,” he wrote to POLITICO.

Albert Guigui, the chief rabbi of Brussels, said that the reversible stunning satisfies one current of Islam but stunning, whether reversible or not, is banned for Jews | Laurie Dieffembacq/AFP via Getty Images

A clause in the law states that when religious slaughter takes place non-lethal stunning, also known as reversible stunning, should be used — leading the government to argue the ban does not limit religious freedom. Depending on their cultural background, this is true for some Muslims who can sometimes accept limited forms of stunning, as long as it can wear off. However, it is out of the question for Jews, who have zero tolerance for stunning of any kind.

Albert Guigui, the chief rabbi of Brussels, said: “The legislators have put in the law [that] the stunning must be reversible, which means they are satisfying one current of Islam. But for us whether it’s reversible or not, it’s banned.”

Vandenbosch from GAIA was hostile to such thinking.

“With Kashrut [the laws governing food in Judaism], you have scholars who are fundamentalists, a total unwillingness to evolve,” he said. “That’s a problem in a secular society … It is like we are from two different planets, we are from Earth and they are from Mars or Jupiter,” he said.

Yohan Benizri, a lawyer fighting the case for the Belgian Federation of Jewish Organizations (CCOJB), condemned that view for singling out Jews and implying that Jews are “not smart enough to realize that they need to change their ways.”

Former Flemish Parliament lawmaker and ex-Green Hermes Sanctorum, the first lawmaker to propose a ban on slaughter without stunning, believed the law has already made a positive impact in his region.

“I think that animal suffering is reduced in a fundamental way.”

But that did not mean the work was over. “Does it mean there is no animal suffering anymore on a large scale? No, of course not. If you divide a million by two you still have 500,000,” said Sanctorum.

This article is part of POLITICO’s premium policy service

UIA introduces halal meals on flights to the Middle East

As of August 1, 2019, UIA will offer halal meals to business class passengers on direct flights between Kiev and Amman, Tehran and Cairo.


The UIA Halal Passenger Menu was exclusively developed by Sky Food Services, an airline partner specializing in onboard catering.


All Halal dishes on the UIA’s board menu are certified by the independent Halal Certification Center, which controls food production in accordance with the canonical rules of Islam.

The Ummah app has been making waves around the globe

The Ummah app has been making waves around the globe with a community of over 20, 000. The app offers a comprehensive range of content for Muslim orientated consumers. The Ummah app includes prayer times, Islamic quotes, reminders, a halal food finder and is a great place for Muslims to connect with their peers.


With the launch of the new core feature ‘Ummah Online Marketplace’ the app has significantly increased its value proposition to users. Launching after a couple of years transitioning from the development phase the feature now allows users to buy and sell online within a Halal and ethical environment. The platform is free to use and does not contain any advertisements.


– A marketplace must be trustworthy.  You are spending your hard-earned money on a product hoping the sellers actually do what they promise to do, which is send your merchandise and it arrives when it’s supposed to.

– A marketplace must attract a lot of sellers and buyers. After all, buyers hope to find that obscure twenty-year-old item and sellers hope to find the buyer that wants their twenty-year-old item.  Lots of buyers and sellers bring more merchandise and more reasons to visit.

– Buyers want the opportunity to bid on items hoping to get them cheaper, or even trade items that benefits both parties.


These are true examples of an online marketplace that caters to everyone’s needs. Yet, how many sites offer this flexibility and versatility? There is only one, and that site is Ummah, your online marketplace that allows you the ability to get special treasures several different ways.


There is something else the Ummah team wants to share. The Ummah marketplace is a Muslim marketplace app created by Muslims! And we care about the halal ways. That’s why we can make a guarantee to all of our Muslim brothers and sisters that all merchandise will be sold, traded, or bartered the halal way.


It has taken a long time to get to this point with our website. That’s why we want you to log in and feel confident that you are purchasing items from other members of the brotherhood across the world.


And we definitely need to hear from you! We want to know what you think of Ummah. Did you find merchandise you were looking for? Did you connect with other brothers and sisters, and perhaps start meaningful conversations about faith and leading a wonderful life the Muslim way? Let us know your opinions so we can make the best merchandise site with greater opportunities. And please inform others about Ummah. We have faith-based daily passages, a directional finder that will show you the right direction to turn when to turn for faith-based prayer multiple times a day.


Let’s face it, the Ummah app has everything a devoted and dedicated Muslim needs. It goes beyond being a fascinating marketplace. The app has many opportunities to lead a life that embraces Allah. All you have to do is keep visiting.


But first, there’s the marketplace. We wish to surpass eBay and we have faith we can do this.  But we need you to keep coming back. Don’t hesitate to check out our app often.


Ummah- the app created by Muslims for Muslims. We are here for you!


Official Website: Ummah

App Store Download Link: Ummah

Google Play Download Link: Ummah

Malaysia to focus on halal, Islamic finance industries in trade with Arab countries

Malaysia intends to keep its focus on the halal and Islamic finance industries in its efforts to enhance trade relations with Arab countries, says President of the Arab-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce (AMCC), Datuk Dr Hafsah Hashim.


This would be important if Malaysia plans to achieve its aim of stronger trade links with the Arab countries, she said.


Through the AMCC, Malaysia expects to cooperate with all the 16 embassies of the Arab countries here to push for stronger businesses between Malaysian companies and the Arab countries, she said.


The halal business and Islamic finance are expected to provide the best opportunities for Malaysian businessmen and companies to explore and expand their businesses in the Arab countries.


Dr Hafsah said that if Malaysia is able to cooperate with the 16 countries and get an agreement for the production of not only halal food products but also other halal products such as medicines, pharmaceutical products, it will be able to join the 16 countries and be among the Islamic countries with the capacity to produce goods that can be used by Muslim consumers all over the world.


Speaking to Bernama in an interview at her office here recently, she said Malaysia had already started taking several initiatives reflective of its earnestness to develop the halal industry.


“For example, Serunai Commerce Malaysia has been cooperating with 78 halal certification centres in 45 Islamic countries including the 16 Arab countries.


“Through this cooperation, the company has been able to develop an application called ‘verify halal’ to enable consumers to check on the halal status of a product even when they are overseas,” she said.


The AMCC is a trade body that was established in 2009 by the joint efforts of Malaysia and member countries of the Arab League.


The trade body, which currently has over 300 members comprising Arab companies operating in Malaysia as well as Malaysian companies in Arab countries, aims to strengthen trade and investment opportunities between Malaysia and Arab countries.


According to a report issued by the Statistics Department of Malaysia, the five Arab countries that registered the highest trade value with Malaysia in 2018 were United Arab Emirates with RM22.86 billion followed by Saudi Arabia at RM21.67 billion, Qatar RM3.72 billion, Oman RM3.3 billion and Kuwait RM2.81 billion.

The Muslim World BIZ 2019

The Muslim World BIZ is a leading trade exhibition and conference in the Muslim world and is currently in its ninth year. Except for the third occurrence of the event, which was held in Jakarta, the Muslim World BIZ has been organised in Kuala Lumpur. The 9th Muslim World BIZ will be again held at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) with all the features and benefits of an event that has been succeeding in enhancing trade and investment among Muslim and Non-Muslim countries.


The Muslim world BIZ is not confined to only serve the OIC member countries as the nearly 1.8 billion Muslim population is also well established in all six continents. The event provides the ideal platform for business from various sectors to tap into the Muslim market knowing that Muslims currently represent over 25% of the global population. Therefore, we invite you to be a part of the successful event which has generated trade and investment deals worth over RM 500 million.


The Exhibition Zone is an ideal platform for entrepreneurs, corporate and investors from all parts of the globe to explore trade opportunities with over 500 industry players participating including the expectation of 10,000 trade and public visitors.


There will be 800 booths from the Muslim World Globally (Expected 35 participating countries). Here, participants will be expose to a myriad of trade opportunities with organization from all over the world. It is indeed an excellent platform for solution providers, service providers, suppliers, wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers to meet directly with future trade partners for business expansion, MoU’s signing and networking.


Event Date: 4-6 September 2019

Venue: Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC)

Contact: OIC International Business Center Sdn Bhd (603-42810037)

For more info click here