Their family ran a farm in Lancaster, England and was facing a permanent closure. There simply wasn’t enough business for them to survive on.
Peter and Jean Bartley bought a new farm after having retired and moved up north of England. They also had a shop on the farm to sell their farm products. However, the business proved less than successful and the Bartleys had to think of ways to save a business.
Taking A Chance
By chance, Peter Bartley had a conversation with someone who suggested he prepared halal meat instead. This is because halal meat is in short supply in the areas where their farm is situated.
As the Bentleys are not Muslims, Peter was first wary of the idea, and it took him ten days to decide to go with halal. Furthermore, the Bentleys knew very little of what’s involved in halal farming and meat preparation.
They also hired a Muslim butcher to ensure that the slaughter of the animals are done in accordance with Islamic rituals to ensure the meat are halal.
A Gamble That Paid Off
Their farm is now visited by many customers across the North West of England, from Blackburn, Stockport, Manchester and many other areas.
Even students from the University of Lancaster, and recent refugees from Syria living in Lancaster are now customers of the farm.
The family-run farm now sells halal chicken, free-range chicken, lamb, and beef, as well as vegetables. The farm is now quite busy with it being opened for business seven days a week.
Taking It To The Next Level
The Bentleys have applied for a halal certification which they recently obtained from the Halal Monitoring Committee (HMC). The certification proves that their farm meat is truly halal.
They have also recently expanded their services to provide delivery of their halal meat across the country.
Challenges and Opportunities
When their halal farm story first broke out in the news, they received a lot of backlash from non-muslims who are anti-Islam as well as from animal lovers. These people claim that halal farming and slaughtering is cruel to animals.
Thankfully, the Bentleys are open-minded and positive people and have provided informative information about halal meat and halal farming to the haters on their Facebook page.
The opportunities for halal farming in the UK is quite strong. According to Peter Bentley, “A lot of people don’t realise that without the Muslim community farming would be dying out – more farmers need to open their eyes to this.”
“I read recently that 88 percent of all animals in England each week are killed halal, five percent is kosher and the seven percent is the traditional British way.”
This is in line with the overall trend of the global halal food market, which was estimated at $1.17 trillion and growing at 8.5% per year.
The original interview with the Bentleys first appeared on Blackpool Gazette.