Shoppers turn to local butchers

E.A. Birds butchers assure customers that all their meat is fully traceable (w130227-3b)
E.A. Birds butchers assure customers that all their meat is fully traceable (w130227-3b)

PUBLIC confidence has increased in local butchers in the wake of the horsemeat scandal - say Worksop firms and customers.

Town centre butchers have reported a significant increase in business since it emerged that horsemeat had been found in a range of products - from supermarket burgers to ready meals.

Claudia Bird, of E.A. Bird, said all four shops in Worksop, Mansfield, Sutton and Kirkby, have seen a rise in the number of people asking where their meat is sourced from.

“We have heard comments from customers asking why the big companies have been allowed to do this,” she said.

“If this was a small business that had been caught they would have had the doors closed on them straightaway.”

Ms Bird added that the company prides itself on selling only locally-sourced meat in their shops.

“All suppliers used are local and because we buy straight from the local abattoir who buys from the local farmer our meats are not shipped hundreds of miles,” she said.

“In fact. from farm to shop is approximately 10-25 miles and because of this we can assure all our customers that they get what they pay for.”

She added: “We have full traceability on every delivery made to all our shops.”

“This is a legal requirement that we as a quality real family butchers does every day to ensure the best products for our customers.”

John Poxon, of JP Meats, on Bridge Street, said they too have experienced a boost in trade since the scandal broke.

“One of the most surprising comments we have had from customers is how surprisedhow cheap meat from local butchers is,” he said.

“They have been mis-led by the supermarkets on this and have been pleased to learn of the quality and value for money they can get for their meat at local butchers.”

Their comments come as the boss of Tesco vowed this week to bring meat production ‘closer to home’ and work closely with British farmers to help restore consumer confidence in their products.

Chief executive Philip Clarke has introduced a new testing process so that customers can be sure that what is on the label is in the packet.

He also said that from July all chicken meats sold at Tesco’s UK stores will come from British farms.

But he would not promise that the changes would not cost customers more.

“I hope that it doesn’t mean price increases, but I can’t stand here today and tell you that it won’t,” he said. “I hope it doesn’t, I’ll work to make sure it doesn’t.”