BUTCHERS across the borough have welcomed an increase in customers who have lost confidence in supermarkets after the horsemeat scandal.
SJ Williams, in Swakeleys Road, Ickenham, has had more people through the door looking for quality meat.
Owner Steve Williams said: “I think they are beginning to realise that they are not getting what they thought they were getting and want to go to an expert who knows his trade and knows how to cut the meat properly.
“That’s the reason that they come to see us and they can see what they are buying and they know where it has come from.”
Ian Hallam, owner of Manor Butcher’s in Victoria Road, Ruislip, admits the discovery of horsemeat in certain supermarket beef products has boosted sales.
He said: “There have been a few people who have said they are not going to shop at supermarkets any more.
“There is a loss of confidence now, and people are really concerned with what goes into the stuff. Certainly sales of mince have doubled, I noticed that on Saturday.
“I think people are moving away from buying any processed meat now and would prefer to do it themselves, and the supermarkets have lost a lot of respect from people. It’s that old thing; you get what you pay for.”
In Hayes, The London Meat Company had been unaffected by the horsemeat scandal. The butcher’s, in High Street, Harlington, said the number of customers through the door had stayed the same.
The Dalton family has been farming in Ickenham for the past 100 years. Toby Dalton sells the farm’s own free-range grass-fed beef in Dalton’s Farm Shop, in Breakspear Road, Ickenham.
“The beef is matured for two to three weeks before being butchered on site.
“I think there has been an increase in customers and I don’t think this horsemeat story is over yet, so I hope we can continue to attract more people,” he said.
D&L Butchers, in High Street, Harefield, has increased sales of mince and burgers.
Owner Dave Courtney said: “People are starting to think about what is in their processed foods. The cheap stuff is not good. I’ve been a butcher for 25 years and only ever use steak mince.
“Using a butcher means you know exactly where your meat has come from. We have full traceability, right back to the farmer.
“People should support their local butchers and cook things from scratch.
“We are enjoying seeing new faces coming in and I hope it goes on.”
The scandal first broke when Tesco admitted some of its meat products might contain horse meat, and this was swiftly followed by the revelation that certain suppliers might have placed large amounts of the meat into the food chain. Investigations continue.
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