3 November, 2016. 10:23
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
A SHORTAGE OF HALAL-certified grain has prompted a leading grain brokerage firm to make a rare request to farmers to harvest their end-of-season crops toward Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
To be halal certified, the plant’s head must be drooped over facing Mecca, be harvested while still alive and then ritually sacrificed by a Muslim who recites a prayer dedicating the plant’s death to Allah.
An acute shortage of barley is currently devastating the Halal-certified beer market, with prices surging upwards of $190 a tonne last week.
Halal-certified wheat is also in short supply, with many Australian families being forced to either go without, or eat Haram Tip-Top sandwich slice.
It’s simple supply and demand, says Gilbert Taranaway from AWB Limited.
“When you have a shortage of a certain commodity, it sends the price up. Economics 101. But this, this is like nothing we’ve ever seen.” he said.
“Grain farmers have a unique opportunity to jump aboard the Halal train and really make themselves a killing this spring. For far too long, graziers and pastoralists have been cashing in on Halal. Now the farmers have a chance.”
“We’re looking forward to seeing a great return for our clients. Who knows, maybe you’ll be seeing the cockies dipping their toes in the salt water for a little longer this Christmas time?” he said.
Mr Taranaway’s sentiments were echoed by Windorah broad-acre farmer, Leeroy Cavanagh.
The 94-year-old said he’s been fruitlessly sowing canola and other nitrogen-sucking cash drops into the dunes on his back block for almost two decades, without much luck. He plans to turn his perennial frown upside down come December time – when he hopes to pull himself up into the cab of his clapped out of 7720 and get to work.
“I had 40 points on those sand dunes back in August when I sowed it. Had a bit on it since. Not a whole lot, but enough to get me half a tonne and square kilometre, you’d think.” he said.
“But you never know in this sandy country. It’s boom or bust out here, bungee. I put three square clicks of chickpea in, too. Should go about a tonne. That’d get me enough to replace the batteries in me smoke alarm.”
“But yeah nah, jooga. I’d be out on the crop directly. Some good wildflower’s come up through it, but. Bitch of a thing. I’ve been meaning to get one of those flash headers that have the caterpillar tracks so I don’t get bogged driving over the dunes as much. Maybe if this year goes well, the bank manager will stop laughing at me.” he said.