Bracknell butchers report increase in sales since horsemeat scandalBy Jennie Slevin
February 25, 2013
Butchers are reporting a rise in custom as shoppers turn against the supermarkets following the horsemeat scandal.
As frozen meat products, including lasagne and burgers, are being removed from supermarket shelves, shoppers in Bracknell are turning to independent butchers for locally sourced, quality meat.
Martyn Sharp, of The Quality Meat Company in Great Hollands Square, said: “I’ve definitely seen an increase in business since the news came out.
“People are saying they feel disillusioned by what’s in the supermarkets.
“They seem to have lost their confidence and feel more self-assured buying from a local butcher because they can see exactly what they’re buying.
“Some customers ask if we know where it’s from, but most feel confident enough just knowing they’re buying from a butcher.”
He added: “People are quite surprised when they look at the price because they think it’s going to be more expensive, but they can buy exactly how much they want so there’s no waste.”
Last week tests carried out by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) revealed eight horses slaughtered in the UK tested positive for veterinary painkiller phenylbutazone, known as bute. The drug is potentially harmful to humans.
James Quinn runs award-winning family butchers Quintessential Meats, and rears most of the beef and pork at Hornbuckle Farm in Warfield.
He said: “We’ve had a fantastic few weeks of trade, with lots of new customers wanting to know exactly where their food comes from.
“I’m not surprised this has happened, food has been cut with things to save money for years. Bacon which shrinks as soon as it hits the pan is pumped full of salty water to make it go further.
“When customers buy from a butcher they know who they’re dealing with, they don’t know the head of Tesco or Aldi so they can’t talk to them.”
Catherine Dopson, owner of Dopsons Butchers in Crowthorne, thinks customers need to be educated.
She said: “We are not that much more expensive compared to a supermarket and if people shop here they know what they are having.
“People are frightened of butchers because of the price and because they are not used to knowing what weight and cuts to buy, but they can come in and ask us and we will show them and help.”
Catherine added: “If they were to buy what they normally buy in the supermarket they would probably find it would save them money.”