Meat sector comes together to celebrate 'Big Eid'

04 September 2023

Big Eid Dinner at Butcher‘ Hall in London

On the 4 July, the NFU was proud to be co-organisers of the first meat industry celebration of Eid-al-Adha at Butchers’ Hall in London. Claire White, the NFU's senior veterinary adviser reports.

The event had over 80 Muslim stakeholders, government officials, shadow farming minister – Daniel Zeichner, and agri-food value chain representatives joining, in what is hoped to be the start of a new tradition.

Eid-al-Adha, also known as ‘Big Eid’, is the larger of the two main festivals of the Muslim calendar.

Its customs focus on giving and sharing, both within the family, local community and to global causes, remembering the willingness of Abraham to give up his son at God’s command. The event united those working in the ever-growing Halal sector of the meat industry, with the incredible Zara Mohammed, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, as the guest speaker.

We were reminded by Zara that “food is a powerful way to break barriers and what you eat is an important part of the Muslim faith”.

The opportunity to share in Muslim festive customs and traditions, recognising their significance and value to consumers, the agri-food sector and farmers was deeply appreciated.”

NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw

This demonstrated the importance of the night, as the meat sector came together to celebrate with good food and great company for a historic event that the NFU, The Worshipful Company of Butchers and AHDB supported.

NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw, members, meat industry colleagues, government officials and representatives of the Muslim community dined on a fabulous culturally inspired meal of British lamb donated by UK processors.

Muslim consumption of lamb is of great significance to British sheep farmers, with households consuming 10 times more than the general population, sitting down to a meal containing sheepmeat more than once a week.

Eid-al-Adha is a festival which celebrates the sharing and giving of food, including meat and money, to the community and charitable causes. In honour of this tradition of giving, a cheque donation was presented by The Master from the WCB charity to Islamic Relief UK in recognition of the festival’s tradition of charitable giving.

Reflecting on the evening, NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw said: “I was delighted to be part of the inaugural event at Butchers’ Hall and to support the attendance from the farming sector. The opportunity to share in Muslim festive customs and traditions, recognising their significance and value to consumers, the agri-food sector and farmers was deeply appreciated.

“The guest speaker – Zara Mohammed – gave an incredibly empowering speech regarding shared celebration, reinforcing the significance of food and particularly meat, as part of daily life – highlighting the absolute reverence and respect Muslims hold for that aspect of their culture and religion.

“I hope that the farming sector and NFU continue to take opportunities to support and be involved in shared celebrations of the future and to promote the significance of Muslim festivals and the halal market to producers.”

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