Horsemeat scandal boosts Bradford, Ilkley, Otley and Cullingworth butchers (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Horsemeat scandal boosts Bradford, Ilkley, Otley and Cullingworth butchers
Butchers in the Bradford district say they are enjoying a surge in business because of the continuing horsemeat scandal which has affected some leading supermarket chains and food producers.
They say it has led to concerned customers increasingly turning to their local butchers for their meat purchases.
Keith Taplin, owner of Taplins Butchers in the Oastler Shopping Centre in Bradford, said he had experienced record trade at the weekend.
He said: “It has been unbelievably busy. At this time of year after Christmas and New Year it quietens down, but since this hit the headlines we have been very busy and completely different.”
John Summers Butchers in Druids Street, Clayton, said: “The sales have increased by a considerable amount. Our regular customers are buying extra amounts and we have seen an increase in strangers coming into the shop.
“In particular we are selling more mince and burgers.”
Andrew Wilson, owner of the Bradford Riverford Organic foods franchise, said it had seen a increase of a fifth in sales and inquiries.
He said: “We have seen a lot more customers asking about where the meat has come from, customers clearly want confidence of where they are buying from. All the meat we sell is 100 per cent British.
“In this past year we have seen more people buying our meat combo boxes which have enough food for a week’s shopping for families.”
Ellisons butchers in Cullingworth says its business has jumped by ten per cent, with burgers sales going up by 30 per cent on the back of a pledge that they are 100 per cent horse free.
John Ellison, a member of the Q Guild group of butchers, said: “We can’t believe how many beef burgers are flying off our selves. More and more customers are coming through the door.
“This has been a real win for not only us but the Q Guild as a whole. Our meat is sourced from local farms and we pride ourselves on this.”
Fellow Q Guild butcher David Lishman, of Lishman’s, of Ilkley, said: “We have seen a nice increase in trade over the last few weeks with people becoming more concerned about where they are buying their meat products from. I think this scandal is a wake-up call that has been a long time coming."
Tony Middlemiss, of Geo Middlemiss & Son butchers in Otley, was more cautious. He said: “We’ve had a slight increase in trade since this began, but nothing dramatic.
“Generally, I don’t think people are too bothered about it and the supermarkets are so powerful, and have so much influence, they can persuade people it’s not really a problem and that ‘there’s no risk’, which is what we keep hearing.
“But if this happened to a local butcher they’d have been out of a job, quite rightly, straight away.”
The scandal first broke last month when Irish food inspectors reported they had detected horsemeat in some burgers stocked by a number of UK supermarkets last month.
And last week it emerged that some Findus beef ready meals contained 100 per cent horsemeat.
Bradford-based Morrisons said all its products are being tested and so far have all come up negative for cross contamination.
Its spokesman said: “We operate in a different way to to other supermarkets. We have our own abattoirs, so we see the cattle arrive and see the meat at the other end.”
Yesterday, it was revealed some Tesco Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese packets contained 60 per cent horsemeat.
The Bishop of Bradford, the Right Reverend Nick Baines, has insisted there is “nothing to be sniffy about” eating horsemeat, however he said people deserved to know when they do so.
Writing in a blog he said: “How can there possibly be any objection to eating one animal rather than another?
“Whenever I find myself in Central Asia, we eat nothing but horse. It is the staple meat on the Steppe. And it is fine, if you like that sort of thing.
“Surely the real controversy ought to be about misrepresentation and obligation. If a company tells us its lasagne is made of beef, then it should moo rather than neigh.”