Legal

Police called in over attacks on Byron Bay Cookies over halal-certified Anzac biscuits

Andrew Sadauskas /

New South Wales Police have launched an investigation into threats made against the Byron Bay Cookie Company over its halal-certified biscuits.

Last month, the Byron Bay Cookie Company received a barrage of angry comments on its Facebook page for producing halal-certified Anzac biscuits.

“What a disgrace. Halal certified Anzac biscuits?!! Seriously how disrespectful!!!”, one Facebook commenter said.

Following the incident, the company received messages of support from many in the community, including the NSW Chamber of Business, Byron Shire Council Mayor Simon Richardson and federal MP Justine Elliott.

Now the police are investigating the abuse received by Byron Bay Cookies staff.

“Police were alerted to all the incidents (on Wednesday October 22) after staff became concerned about the frequent and abusive nature of the messages,” Detective Inspector Brendon Cullen said in a statement published by ninemsn.

“Officers from Tweed/Byron Local Area Command attended and commenced inquiries.

“An investigation is underway, and police have a number of lines of enquiry that they are following. Anyone with information is urged to contact police.”

A spokesperson from the Byron Bay Cookie Company told SmartCompany the company has been making cookies in Byron Bay for 24 years, and its products have been halal certified for almost 10 years, along with hundreds of other major food brands in Australia.

“The Australian Federal Police is currently investigating racial anti halal comments, which have been directed at a number of food manufacturer’s social media sites and we’re assisting them with their investigation as required,” the spokesperson says.

“Byron Bay Cookies is fortunate to enjoy a healthy export market that’s allowed us to become one of the larger employers in Byron Bay. This is why halal certification is important to our business.

“Our cookies are a delicious, gourmet treat and our focus is to supply these treats to as wide an audience as possible. We are an inclusive business that’s respectful of all.”

The biscuit maker also explains it works with the Halal Certification Authority Australia, an accredited provider recognised by the Australian government, which audits its site.

Byron Bay Cookie Company says the yearly fees are not exorbitant and are on par with fees for other certification bodies.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.