Anti-halal Facebook group turns sights on Nimbin Cheese

A GROUP on social media is urging Australians to boycott Nimbin Cheese as they believe it is halal certified.

But Norco chief executive Brett Kelly said the suggestion to boycott Nimbin Cheese was "a storm in a tea cup" as the product was no longer halal certified.

The Boycott Halal in Australia Facebook group posted a photo of a box of Nimbin Cheese on its Facebook page showing the halal certification symbol on May 20.

Since then the post has attracted hundreds of comments, 245 shares and was liked by 509 Facebook users.

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"Nimbin Cheese is Halal certified - but does not have the halal sign until you look on the box it is delivered in," the post said.

"Then you will find it is halal certified by the ICCV.

"ICCV = The Islamic Coordinating Council of Victoria.

"This photo was taken recently! BOYCOTT!"

On April 19, a post on Boycott Halal in Australia Facebook page claimed Coles was being delivered Nimbin Cheese in boxes with a halal certification stamp on them.

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Mr Kelly said the photo displayed on Facebook was old and as far as he understood Nimbin Cheese hadn't been halal certified since he joined the company in 2008.

He said Nimbin Cheese was produced under licence by Bega cheese for Norco.

"We actually own the brand name, but it is produced and packaged through Bega cheese, we just actually own the licence," Mr Kelly said.

"You might have to check with Bega if it is halal certified because none of our cheese or creams or milk or anything is halal certified."

A check on the Halal Choices website revealed Bega cheese products were halal certified.

In April 2015, Bega Cheese chief executive Barry Irvin said the company had been halal certified since 1996 and exported to 40 countries.

"The accreditation and label means that Bega Cheese is able to be sold in international markets, many of which have a government requirement to include this labelling," Bega Cheese CEO Barry Irvin told the Bega District News.

"There would be far less return to the farmer or employment in our region if we simple chose to export bulk commodity cheese for value adding in offshore markets."

Bega cheese could not confirm whether Nimbin Cheese, produced and packaged in its factory, was halal certified before deadline.

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