Managing Risks in the UK Halal Meat Supply Chains: A Multiple Case Study

Piyya Muhammad Rafi-Ul-Shan, Hassan Amar, Kasim Randeree, Muzz Khan

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The purpose of this paper is to explore how the institutional isomorphism has shaped supply chain risk management processes (SCRMP) of Halal meat companies operating in the UK Halal meat industry. Growing Muslim population and internationalisation of the Halal meat industry has led to increased demand for Halal meat across the globe (Zulfakar, et al., 2018). However, most of the Halal meat is processed in the non-Muslim countries, leading to the issues of Halal transparency and fraud (Talib et al., 2015). Thus, it is imperative to identify, prioritise and mitigate Halal supply chain risks to ensure Halal integrity and supply chain continuity.

An exploratory qualitative multiple case study approach (Yin, 2018) is adopted for this research. The case companies were selected based on their major operations (sourcing, slaughtering and retailing) in the UK. The target respondents were selected based on the purposive sampling. In total, 34 semi-structured interviews were conducted with the senior management in four case companies. For the research data and the overall research quality, reliability and validity, interview data further triangulated by observations and documentary analysis. Thematic narrative analysis and social constructionism applied to analyse the collected data and report major findings.

Despite the growth prospects, the UK Halal meat industry lacks collaboration and integration. The case companies found struggling due to lack of resources for growth and to sustain competitiveness against deceptive practise that exist at all tiers of their supply chains. Similarly, increasing disruptions and uncertainties has increased dependency of Halal meat retailers on their supply chain partners. Case companies identify their supply chain risks by looking at costs, collaboration, and legislation and business reputations. Case companies prioritise their supply chain risks based on costs, business reputation, and trust based relationships and in collaboration with Halal certification body. For the risk mitigation, case companies use multiple sourcing, coopetition, legal compliance, cost management and use of track and trace technologies.
Our findings suggest that, none of the case companies has any formal strategy for their supply chain risk management. SCRMP were based on the senior management knowledge, experience, gut feelings, and business history. We also found that cost, margins and business reputation were main considerations at all three phases of the SCRMP within the case companies. Finally, all three institutional pressures (coercive, mimetic and normative) found in play and shaping SCRMP of case companies, however, coercive pressures (costs and laws) were main driving forces for the SCRM.

Prior research has focused on food supply chains with little prior research on the Halal meat industry risks, mostly in Muslim countries. Moreover, there has been no evidence of an exploratory research on the influence of institutional isomorphism and its impact on the SCRMP of UK Halal meat industry. Based on institutional theory, key risks, their identification, prioritisation and mitigation strategies explored in the context of UK Halal meat industry. The explored strategies can be used by other companies to benchmark the best practices.

Research limitations:
Due to the inductive, exploratory and qualitative nature, the findings of this research are only applicable to research case companies and, therefore, cannot be generalised to other companies or across the UK Halal meat industry.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020
Evente-LRN 2020 Special Web Conference: Sustainable and Resilient Supply Chains During Times of Crises - Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Sept 202011 Sept 2020


Conferencee-LRN 2020 Special Web Conference
Abbreviated titlee-LRN 2020 (Logistics Research Network)
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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