While the recent horsemeat situation may have rocked supermarkets, London’s local butchers have experienced a boost in sales from customers looking for guarantees about the meat they are buying. Last month, Irish authorities discovered horsemeat in ‘beef burgers’ stocked by some UK supermarkets and also in branded and supermarket-own ready meals.
The Food Standards Agency, which is responsible for food safety and hygiene across the UK, has ordered a thorough investigation. Meanwhile, many shoppers are putting their trust in their local butchers instead.
Q Guild butchers, the elite independent meat retailers in the UK, have reported a rise of around 30 percent in freshly made burger sales since the first reports of horsemeat contamination.Butchers across London have also noticed increased trade.
“We’ve had some new faces coming in and now they are all asking where the meat comes from,” Chris Hughes, head butcher of The Parson’s Nose in Putney, told The Positive. “I explain to them that we have all the certificates and invoices. We know everything about our meat, from farm to fork.”
Hughes feels the public’s increased interest in the origins of the meat they are eating is to be encouraged. “When you’re talking about ready meals at £1.29 for a lasagna, you have to say that you get what you pay for,” he insisted. He explained that this trend has been going for years and said that recent discoveries have been beneficial to consumers.
“We are unable to price the supermarkets, however we know our lamb is local,” Hughes said. “We’re here to help people enjoy their food.”
There have been suggestions that there may be an increase in home cooking rather than reliance on ready meals due to the horsemeat scandal, something that Hughes has already noticed. “There are more people coming in and saying that they are making their own lasagnas and meat dishes,” he revealed. “I’m happy to hear that and I’m always willing to give advice on how to cook it.”
How have the recent horse meat situation improve the local Butcher’s trade?