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Even more shoppers are turning to local butchers

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 23, 2013

Richard Saunders, shop manager of Dartmoor Butchers in Ashburton, with carcasses in the shop's cold room PICTURE: STEVEN HAYWOOD

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Butchers have renewed calls for people to purchase their food from local businesses amid waning trust in supermarket suppliers.

Owners of businesses backing the Western Morning News Buy Local initiative declared there had "never been a better time" to commit to eating meat only from trusted sources.

They promised all their products could be traced back to suppliers in Devon and Cornwall, including traditional abattoirs and dairies.

Disillusioned supermarket customers who have lost confidence in the origins of what they are being sold over the counter are returning to local suppliers in droves.

Moostone Meats in Wembury, near Plymouth, is one of a number of local suppliers priding itself on quality and traceability of meats.

Co-owner Tim Jakins said: "Budgets have tightened with the times but there is no excuse for selling sub-standard products. Most people will be horrified that they have been eating horsemeat in any form.

"We keep affordability in mind at all times but are entirely committed to ensuring only the best meat is sold from the farm."

Richard Dunning, of Oinkers in Longdown near Exeter, said there had been a "steady increase" in trade during recent weeks at his 21-year-old business.

He said: "The supermarkets have consistently pushed down prices for Value products and in the end something had to give.

"A lot of people in the trade aren't surprised by the horsemeat scandal. It could possibly have been around a lot longer than most people think."

The Food Standards Agency yesterday said it had found another 35 positive tests for horsemeat in beef products.

Philippa Lang, of Dartmoor Butchers in Ashburton, established in 1940, said: "Buying local keeps money in the local economy whilst supporting family businesses."

Mark Humphries, of Voisins butchers in Plymouth, said: "Everything is locally-sourced from Devon and Cornwall. That has kept us turning over and now we are picking-up many more customers."

His sales have gone up 10% in the past few weeks, and in the first weekend after the horsemeat scandal started they rocketed by a third.

John Searle, of Shapland & Searle in South Molton, said: "Business is definitely picking up. We can guarantee traceability. You can be sure your meat is coming straight from the farmer."

Yesterday farming leaders led calls for a change in the traceability of horses after a survey revealed 3,000 farmers had fallen victim to "fly-grazing" last summer, when equines were left to illegally graze on private land.

Richard Haddock, a farmer and the Federation of Small Businesses' Devon rural affairs spokesman, said it was "far better" to buy local.

He said: "The horsemeat scandal may prove to be good for independent butchers because customers can trust the meat we produce and sell.

"The farming sector in the UK has the highest traceability in Europe. The independent butcher is heavily regulated and we know exactly where our meat comes from because it can be traced back to the local farmer".

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  • robocop1982  |  February 25 2013, 10:22PM

    simple dont eat meat. people only buy it because its on the shelves. you dont need it to live. I was sickened to see the footage of pigs being not fully stunned at hoisted onto the hooks in slaughter houses and seeing them scream like people in pain. these animals are just as human as you and me. Frankly it sickens me to the fact we are desenstised to this. that guy on this photo standing there with a little smile on his face next to those dead animals. I hope other planets have our government under survielance and send somebody to rescue this planet from this devil demon government who are running the show. WE must get them out of power now and prevent any more suffering. if a ufo destoryed the houses of parliment it could be a blessing in disguise of course without any harm to life but just eliminating the control they possess over people. i dont want to see people hurt but only the government toyed with and being replace by new rulers from other planets

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  • maddogwoman  |  February 23 2013, 8:19PM

    Always shopped at my local butchers. They give excellent service and sell good quality meat. Yes, it might be more expensive, but at least a joint of meat hardly shrinks after cooking. Therefore it will last a few days, unlike that junk supermarkets try to pass off as meat which is full of water.

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  • stevie6151  |  February 23 2013, 6:32PM

    If butchers would lower their prices, I would use them. Meat is too expensive even in a supermarket, which is why, my diet is 95% vegetarian

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  • robocop1982  |  February 23 2013, 4:28PM

    you can live perfectly fine without eating meat. the dairy foods that cause the least suffering are eggs. Milk is a bad one unfortunatly

    |   -4
  • stevetims2  |  February 23 2013, 11:27AM

    Boring non-story. NO_ONE IS TURNING TO LOCAL BUTCHERS... Its just a false story to justify the reporters job. If any of you reading this fake story have actually been to a butchers you will see the over inflated prices and poor quality.

    |   -25
  • Sinjis_Things  |  February 23 2013, 9:58AM

    It's all very well for local producers to say buy local but where in Torquay can someone buy locally produced food? It's easy for someone who has a car and can afford it but for people shopping on a limited budget it's not easy especially as a lot of local producers charge a premium price for their produce and then one has to include travel costs.

    |   1