Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji public relations officer Ambassador Kamlesh Arya. File Photo.?
The Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji congratulates Vishva Hindu Parishad Fiji for taking up the issue of with McDonald?s Fiji to remove cheese containing beef or rennet from its food supply and substituting it with vegetarian cheese and thanks McDonalds Fiji for being responsible to the wider consumer base.
?The Sabha is however, seriously concerned about other food outlets such as Pizza providers and cafeterias, restaurants, cake shops,? and eateries using cheese in their food products? said Mr. Arya the Media Relations Officer of the Sabha.
?Also of concern is the sale of unlabelled bulk cheese in all supermarkets and suppliers without adequate labelling information,? said Mr. Arya.
?Approximately 30% of Fijians are Hindus who do not consume beef in any form and this requires a fundamental understanding of food processors, suppliers and manufactures to respect by ensuring that their product has correct and informative labelling so that consumers could make informed choices to meet their faith requirements? said Mr. Arya.
?The numbers on the labels are also misleading in that the consumer is unable to decipher numerical coding in the Isles of the shop as there is no display of what the numerical coding translates into,? stated Mr. Arya.
?Hindus need to be more assertive in terms of what is available in the commercial processed food outlets and whether there is enough and appropriate information available to make informed choices,? said Mr. Arya.
?The Sabha calls upon the Vishva Hindu Parishad Fiji ?to continue raising concerns on faith based dietary needs of the Hindus in the commercialized market places and work towards greater awareness on faith based food requirements.?
It is also required of all Hindus to be vigilant towards ensuring that commercial processes do not destroy the core values of our faith because of ignorance on our part,? stressed Mr. Arya
?This may be a challenge difficult in the first instance but the engagement with McDonalds Fiji sets the pace and our efforts hereafter needs to be relentless to achieve community wide outcome,? said Mr. Arya.