It’s boomtime for butchers

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Markets and butchers in and around Rugby are reporting an increase in trade following the recent horsemeat scandal.

Confidence in processed meat bought from supermarkets was hit earlier this year when it was revealed that some products labelled as containing beef in fact consisted of meat from horses.

But that’s proved benefical to independent butchers like the Malt Kiln Farm Shop in Stretton-under-Fosse, whose sales have increased by about 20 per cent. Butchery manager Hugh Sloan said: “Many of us can’t identify a cut of meat without reading the supermarket wrapper.

“Customers are now asking questions about meat, where it comes from, what’s its source. Our lamb, pork and beef is reared on the estate and slaughtered locally within a 15 mile radius.”

Shop owner Chris Lea added: “Overall sales have increased, as customers are demanding fresher, locally sourced food.”

Binley Woods butcher Scott Moran has seen a 20 to 25 per cent increase in his customers. He said: “The sale of mince and burgers has increased since the news of the horsemeat scandal.

“All my meat and chicken is sourced from Stafford and Banbury, and my eggs come from Stoneleigh, all traceable from field to the table.”

Stallholders and managers of Rugby’s weekly street market and the farmers’ markets say they have been busier than usual. Russell Dean of market operator EG Skett said: “Although the horsemeat scandal was a shock, it’s helped farmers’ markets greatly. Local buyers have been happy to buy off local butchers because of the traceability.”