Getting Halal Foods in our Grocery Stores
With the number of Muslims in the US growing by leaps and bounds over the past several years (a reported average of about 140,000 each year since 2001amounting now to what some say is a community of more than 10 million) we have purchasing power in the billions of dollars, yet the majority retail conglomerates ignore the needs of the Muslims as consumers. How can we change that? It’s very simple, really. We ask.
One of the first companies to recognized Muslims, as a consumer group, with strong spending power, is Ikea. This company has even gone so far as to ensure that any Muslim women, who are hired to work for them and observe hijab, have an Ikea-branded hijab to wear with their work uniforms. Others will soon be on board.
There is a grassroots group, based in Atlanta, Georgia, founded by a group of Muslims from diverse schools of thought, and with an understanding of Islamic Economics, that is reaching out to Muslim consumers, nationwide. While they have several projects planned, not the least of which, insh’Allah will be a Muslim credit union (hopefully to be established at some point within the next two years), the Muslim Consumer Cooperative has undertaken the huge task of gathering 10,000 names on a petition to present to the Kroger supermarket conglomerate, asking for marked Halal meat, foods, and consumer goods sections in selected grocery stores around the country.
Controversy with halal food and meat stores
Although this has created some stir and more than a little controversy with the halal food and meat stores, we believe that Muslim consumers have not only a right but a duty, to make halal foods and products readily available to all Muslims in the US at prices that are affordable. So, why start at the bottom?
They are going straight to one of the largest, international supermarket companies in the world to request that halal foods and products be carried and marketed, in the United States, in a way that lets the Muslims know that their needs will be met.
Both hard copy and online petitions have been created to give everyone who wants to support this effort an opportunity to sign the petition and support the cause. Anyone reading this article has a Kroger’s in their vicinity, and would be willing to commit a portion of their food budget, is being asked to sign the petition and include the amount that they are willing to commit. The link to the petition is http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/HalalAtKrogers07/.
If they are successful, there will be more petitions, more requests, and only Allah can say how far this effort will go.