Shoppers return to Bath butchers following horse meat scandal
Butchers and farm shops are undergoing a renaissance as shoppers worry over where their food is coming from.
Larkhall Butchers has seen a 20 per cent increase in trade since the horse meat scandal unfolded.
Owner Gene Aylett said shoppers were returning to their local butcher because they wanted to know the origin of their meat.
He said: “I think people have realised it’s better to buy local and they can trust a butcher. They want to know where the meat comes from – they want traceability.”
Bissell's 8910E Aroma Pro is the ultimate in home cleaning giving you a machine that provides outstanding results when not just cleaning carpets but stairs and upholstery too.
Terms: Limited Stock Offer . FREE Delivery to most UK postcodes.
Contact: 01664 491439
Valid until: Tuesday, May 28 2013
Most of the meat sold at his store comes from an abattoir in Nailsea, which itself takes animals from Somerset farms.
Mr Aylett, who has run Larkhall Butchers for ten years, said he was not surprised by the discovery of horse meat in some supermarket beef products.
He said: “Supermarkets sell eight burgers for less than a tin of dog food. Food has been far too cheap for far too long. In Europe they have two-hour lunches, food is their life, but here we want food for nothing, and unfortunately it’s now come home to roost.
“You can’t sell quality food for less than pet food.”
He tried to assure costumers of his meat’s origin by displaying a tongue in cheek notice outside the shop clarifying that no meat sold there had run the Grand National.
Tom Bowles, manager at the Hartley Farm Shop and Café in Winsley, said his business had seen a 50 per cent increase in trade.
Hartley Farm Shop is supplied with beef, pork, fruit, vegetables and eggs direct from the family farm, while lamb and dairy products come from a nearby farm. All food sold in the shop and cafe is made from the farm’s own produce.
Mr Bowles, who recently collected a National Farmers’ Retail and Markets’ Association award, which celebrates home-grown food, said: “With a supply chain as complex as some of the large food processors and retailers have shown they have, something like this was always going to happen and when the emphasis is constantly put on finding cheap ingredients, it comes as no surprise that this is the outcome. Comparing this to our supply chain of field to abattoir to shop, it’s not hard to see why many consumers feel cheated and are turning to local butchers and farm shops like ours.”
At Newton Farm in Newton St Loe, Hugh and Celia Gay said customers had been reassured that all meat sold in their farm shop was reared on site.
Mrs Gay said: “We produce as much as we can ourselves, we have our own butchery and our supply chain is very short. We don’t buy in processed meat. We do sell ready meals in our shop but they are made from meat we supply to local firm Cavendish Cooks, who make the ready meals.”
She added that shoppers had a choice of quality or cost.
She said: “We have had quite a few new people coming in who are worried about where meat is coming from.
“People, whether it’s driven by the supermarkets or not, are trying to get food ever more cheaply. It comes to a point where you get what you pay for; this is the end result of this consumer drive to get cheaper and cheaper food.”
Horse meat was first found in beef burgers on sale in Tesco in January but since then supermarkets, local authorities and hospitals have been removing more products and meals as tests revealed traces of horse instead of beef.
According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) more than 2,500 tests have been carried out.
Tests conducted by British retailers have found that one in 65 beef products were contaminated with horse meat. However, the FSA, which has already commissioned tests of raw beef products such as mince, sausages and meatballs by local authorities, is to expand its programme to include samples of frozen, chilled or canned, beef-based ready meals.