Halal meat venture born out of necessity helping Muslim communities in regional WA – ABC News

Halal meat venture born out of necessity helping Muslim communities in regional WA – ABC News

Moving to the Goldfields, Muhammad Baqir never saw a grocery business as something he would venture into — until circumstances left him with no other option.

“During the lockdown nobody was allowed to leave the Goldfields,” he said.

“We had no plans to adopt groceries or online food business as a profession.

“When we saw this requirement in the community that we really need, we adopted this idea.”

Mr Baqir, who is originally from Pakistan, moved to Australia in 2018 and settled in Kalgoorlie the following year, working as a project manager alongside managing his e-commerce business.

Arriving Down Under, like many other Muslims who relocate to regional towns, he was faced with the major issue of not knowing where to source halal products.

“It was the first thought I discussed with my family and close friends: how do we bring our groceries from Perth?” he said.

Regional residents used to go to the nearest city to bulk buy halal-certified products.(ABC Goldfields: Madina Jaffari)

COVID-19 impacts

For a while Mr Baqir had no choice but to follow the conventional way of driving for six-and-a-half hours to Perth on a regular basis to get his halal groceries.

But when COVID-19 restrictions were put in place, it became difficult to get a G2G pass.

It was during this time he decided to convert his then electronics business into a grocery store so he could help his struggling Muslim community in Kalgoorlie.

“I wanted everybody to get an opportunity to spend life or enjoy life according to their rituals and their customs,” Mr Baqir said.

“If somebody wants to eat halal meat, he or she should get this opportunity.”

Local butchers don’t advertise halal meat because of the associated stigma.(ABC Goldfields: Madina Jaffari)

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Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-09/entrepreneur-helps-regional-muslim-community-source-halal-meat/100717240

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