One of Australia’s most famous and best-loved wine brands, Jacob’s Creek, has been forced to deny its wines are “halal certified” after campaigners began targeting the company on Facebook.
Last night, the Barossa Valley winemaker posted the following message to its 460,000 followers:
Hi guys, today we’ve had a lot of questions about Halal certification. We can confirm that our wines are not suitable for those people following a Halal diet. Therefore we do not have Halal certification displayed on the packaging of our products.
It’s hard to know who’s trolling who here, but as Business Insider pointed out yesterday, Vegemite recently posted a statement defending its halal certification, and there’s been a vicious social media war going on for several months, involving claims that certification fees are being used to fund terrorist activities. A range of politicians have taken up the argument, including Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie and NSW Christian politician Fred Nile.
People started piling on Jacob’s Creek yesterday, but you don’t need to be an expert on the Koran to know that the notion that wine could be certified halal is stupid.
The comment below is typical of the flak the winemaker has been copping:
But how this all started seems to be a little more complex amid the conclusions many are quick to jump to, including some who pointed out the family-owned South Australian brewer Coopers has halal certification (yes, it does, for a non-alcoholic malt extract, but of course not for beer).
While there’s a Facebook group called Boycott Halal in Australia, there’s a satire account of the same name. As the owners of that page say: “The parody writes itself”.
It posted the original send up, picking up on someone who claimed the QR codes on a bottle of wine were proof that Jacob’s Creek was halal.
Then stupid hit the nuclear button and Jacob’s suddenly found itself on the list of “national traitors” such as Four n’ Twenty Pies, Dominos Pizza, Dick Smith Foods and KFC who’ve also felt the heat of the boycott campaign.
The real Boycott Halal campaign is a little miffed.
This internet war will undoubtedly continue, and a range of companies have already been abused without the help of satirists, when the boycott campaign targets them.
It’s worth pointing out, once again, that no actual evidence has emerged that in any way suggests halal certification fees are used to fund terrorism.