South Lakes butchers gain boost in business from horse meat scandal

AWARD-winning butchers in South Lakeland are reaping the benefits of the fall-out from the international horsemeat scandal.

NFU Cumbria says evidence suggests shoppers are trading up or opting for fresh British meat over imported processed meat in the wake of the controversy, which this week has seen claims that chicken and pork should also be tested.

Higginsons of Grange is one business to benefit, with sales improving since the story broke earlier this month.

Stuart Higginson, who set up the firm with wife Pauline more than 25 years ago, said: “People have been talking about it in the shop and are being very positive.

“We have noticed an increase in sales in the past week to 10 days in sales of our home-made lasagnes in the past week to 10 days I think people have been put off buying from supermarkets.

“Trade is good and this will help people to realise that they should be trusting their local butchers in terms of sourcing and traceability of the meat they consume.”

Over at Sedbergh, Chris Holmes, who owns respected Steadmans Butchers, said he hoped the row would help people realise the importance of knowing where food came from.

“I would like to be optimistic and say it will benefit us long-term but normally what happens is we see a little bit of a spike for a few weeks and as soon as supermarkets put a special offer on people go back to their old habits.

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“But this is a good opportunity for us. People have this false impression that supermarkets are cheaper than local butchers but they are not - they just blind shoppers with offers.

“There are not many of us left now and we are here because we are passionate about what we do – it is not a faceless organisation and we care about the products we are selling. When we make a beefburger, it is made with top quality meat, seasoning and water – and beef.”

NFU Cumbria’s county adviser Mike Sanderson, of Appleby, said the organ-isation was angry and disappointed with retailers for ‘undermining the hard work of farmers to produce quality, traceable produce’.

He added: “It reinforces our call for clearer labelling and a commitment from retailers to British produce.

“Please buy from your local farmer, butcher or look for the Red Tractor logo on all the fresh meat you buy.

“This is the only way you can be sure that products you are feeding your family have been produced to world-class standards.”

Comments (9)

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3:22pm Wed 13 Feb 13

zaney5 says...

It's simple really, you get what you pay for. Cheap products may seem like a bargain, but as we've found out over the past couple of weeks, not everything is as it seems.
It's simple really, you get what you pay for. Cheap products may seem like a bargain, but as we've found out over the past couple of weeks, not everything is as it seems. zaney5

3:26pm Wed 13 Feb 13

nickjohn says...

Couldn't agree more zaney, the more the supermarkets have forced the prices down from the suppliers the more cutbacks / savings they are forced to make to continue in business..
Couldn't agree more zaney, the more the supermarkets have forced the prices down from the suppliers the more cutbacks / savings they are forced to make to continue in business.. nickjohn

6:17pm Wed 13 Feb 13

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

Cost is not necessarily the cause, because normally horse meat is more expensive than beef. There would be no reason to label it as beef. The problem seems to be an over-supply of unwanted horses in Ireland or Romania plus a criminal gang willing to put them into the human food-chain with fake labelling. It's about long supply lines, too much trust in shiny pictures on the food packaging and international trading in food ingredients.
Cost is not necessarily the cause, because normally horse meat is more expensive than beef. There would be no reason to label it as beef. The problem seems to be an over-supply of unwanted horses in Ireland or Romania plus a criminal gang willing to put them into the human food-chain with fake labelling. It's about long supply lines, too much trust in shiny pictures on the food packaging and international trading in food ingredients. Milkbutnosugarplease

6:23pm Wed 13 Feb 13

sklanc says...

i think if people were made aware what actually goes into processed meat products the market would collapse overnight ! it is a nauseating industry based around using EVERY part of EVERY animal.
i think if people were made aware what actually goes into processed meat products the market would collapse overnight ! it is a nauseating industry based around using EVERY part of EVERY animal. sklanc

1:51pm Thu 14 Feb 13

jazzactivist says...

Nothing can beat buying the ingredients from local producers and specialist shops, and making your own meals from scratch. Then you know for sure what goes into them. It doesn't cost more to shop at a local butcher, veg shop or baker than it does in a supermarket. That's just advertising hype, and if something is very cheap then there is always a scurrilous reason for that. Luckily, we have very few supermarkets in Cumbria and lots of small businesses, so it's up to us as consumers to look after our own health and welfare and help them to thrive.
Nothing can beat buying the ingredients from local producers and specialist shops, and making your own meals from scratch. Then you know for sure what goes into them. It doesn't cost more to shop at a local butcher, veg shop or baker than it does in a supermarket. That's just advertising hype, and if something is very cheap then there is always a scurrilous reason for that. Luckily, we have very few supermarkets in Cumbria and lots of small businesses, so it's up to us as consumers to look after our own health and welfare and help them to thrive. jazzactivist

10:09am Fri 15 Feb 13

Kendmoor says...

despite the scandal and being dragged through the news, I haven't actually heard anyone complain about eating the stuff...I mean I've heard plenty of jokes, but no "outrage" from anyone I know. Obviously the potential of fraud in the case is problematic, they should have been labelling these things correctly.
despite the scandal and being dragged through the news, I haven't actually heard anyone complain about eating the stuff...I mean I've heard plenty of jokes, but no "outrage" from anyone I know. Obviously the potential of fraud in the case is problematic, they should have been labelling these things correctly. Kendmoor

12:05pm Fri 15 Feb 13

nickjohn says...

from what I understand if they had put the word "other" in the ingredients description then they would have been ok..

Similar to what they do with processed sausages which contain a lot of pig parts which people would not normally eat....

My brother in law once had to insure a shipment of meat for a well known burger chain, they had to detail all the ingredients, I never ate there again.....
from what I understand if they had put the word "other" in the ingredients description then they would have been ok.. Similar to what they do with processed sausages which contain a lot of pig parts which people would not normally eat.... My brother in law once had to insure a shipment of meat for a well known burger chain, they had to detail all the ingredients, I never ate there again..... nickjohn

4:10pm Fri 15 Feb 13

zaney5 says...

What would you rather eat? A nice piece of lean horse meat (ethically sourced) from your friendly local butcher. Or a frozen budget burger that contains god knows what!
What would you rather eat? A nice piece of lean horse meat (ethically sourced) from your friendly local butcher. Or a frozen budget burger that contains god knows what! zaney5

5:08pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Kendmoor says...

Well, quite!
Well, quite! Kendmoor

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