Horse meat scandal puts butchers on to a winner
Independent butchers around the area are enjoying an unexpected boom as shoppers desert the big supermarkets in the wake of the horse meat scandal.
As the furore rumbles on, city butchers report soaring sales figures and an influx of new customers.
“Last Saturday was unbelievable – it was like Christmas in here!” said butcher Chris Beech, who runs the Inner City Farm Shop at South Road, Walkley.
“Our general takings are up by 20% but burger sales have doubled. We’re seeing a lot of new faces too. It’s amazing,” he said.
John Crawshaw, a life-long butcher with shops in Hillsborough, Chapeltown and Stocksbridge, has also noticed a jump in trade.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in sales right from the word go.
“Our manufactured products are particularly popular and we’ve been selling a lot more minced beef because people prefer to be making their own burgers,” he said.
Crawshaw’s, which also supplies numerous local restaurants, schools and hotels, boasts that its beef and lamb is all reared and slaughtered within 30 miles of Stocksbridge: “This ensures we know the meat has the best possible life as well as ensuring low food miles.”
John believes the discovery of horse DNA in processed meat has made people more wary of what they’re eating – resulting in a bonanza for small local butchers like himself.
“People are more concerned about ready meals,” he said. “They might not be against eating horse meat, but they do want to be aware that they’re eating it.”
Chris is more outspoken: “The people I’m talking to used to be supermarket shoppers, but they’ve lost all faith in them. I think the supermarkets should stop selling cheap meat and putting everyone else out of business, and concentrate on quality instead.”
As the recriminations continue, and politicians clamour for more vigorous testing, the butchers are enjoying the unexpected boost – and keeping their fingers crossed that the new trend will last.
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Weather for Sheffield
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West