Independent butchers see surge in trade following horsemeat scandal
INDEPENDENT butchers in Cheltenham say business is booming as customers flock to them in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.
Staff at Robin Jenkins butchers, in Bath Road, have had to bring in extra hands to mince more meat in order to keep up with demand.
And they said people are asking for burgers and minced beef – products previously dominated by supermarket giants.
It comes after certain beef products were withdrawn from supermarkets across the UK after the discovery that some contained traces of horsemeat.
Manager Darren Walker said: "It has got really busy over the last couple of weeks and we think the horsemeat scandal has had an effect.
"Business is up by 10 per cent and we have had to order in more stock and bring in extra help.
"In particular, people are going for burgers and minced beef, but pork, lamb and poultry are doing well too.
"The whole horsemeat story has obviously bred a certain amount of distrust in supermarkets and I think that's why people are coming to us."
Mr Walker said customers were particularly keen to ensure their meat was easily traceable.
He added: "With butchers of a smaller size like us, you get high quality produce and it's all locally-sourced.
"I can tell you exactly where the meat comes from and it can be traced down the animal if needs be."
He is not the only butcher to notice a surge in business.
A member of staff at Halfords butcher's in Tewkesbury said: "We have picked up some more customers.
"I think the whole horsemeat scandal has opened people's eyes a bit."
Perry Meredith, manager of Jesse Smith's butcher in Cirencester, said: "People have been caught out buying cheap meat from supermarkets and the guilt factor is making them buy better quality produce. How long it lasts though remains to be seen."
Andy Hill, who owns JR Pilkington's family butcher's in Bishop's Cleeve, said the trend was a sign the tide was turning against large supermarkets. He added: "I think supermarket domination is coming to an end.
"People realise that if they look carefully enough, what supermarkets offer is no cheaper than what we've got, and they can't match us for quality.
"Customers can also get advice from a good butcher. We will tell you how to make the most of the different cuts."