Boost for butchers in horsemeat scandal

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B Clarke and Family butchers on Allerton Road in Mossley Hill. Pic: JMU Journalism

B Clarke and Family butchers on Allerton Road in Mossley Hill. Pic: JMU Journalism

As the nationwide horsemeat scandal continues to rock the food industry, Liverpool’s family-owned and independent butchers are reporting a big surge in customers.

With horsemeat finding its way into products ranging from beef ready-meals and school dinners, it appears that local shoppers are turning their back on supermarkets at the heart of the scandal and buying fresh meat from independent outlets.

Dean Harris of A.I. Roberts butchers in West Kirby told JMU Journalism: “I think people have been deceived. Horse meat is not going to do you any harm, it’s the drugs that they give the horses. When you buy a beef burger it should only be beef.”

Mr Harris went on to say that he is delighted with his store seeing a 30 percent increase in business since the issue was first highlighted earlier this month.

He told JMU Journalism: “For us it has been good news, but it’s been a long time coming. You can’t buy 20 burgers for a pound and expect quality but what you get is what you pay for and that is what has happened.

“I still think there is a lot more to come out. But it is good news for the small retailers. We buy quality and everything we buy is traceable back to the farm and that gives customers confidence in what they are buying.”

A.I. Roberts is not the only independent family butcher in Merseyside to note a 30 percent rise, as a similar increase in business has been reported at B Clarke & Family Butchers on Allerton Road in Mossley Hill.

Danny Trampnow of F Trampnow & Sons butchers on Scotland Road told JMU Journalism how manufacturers pass off horsemeat as beef: “I was in Sicily three weeks ago, they sell it in the supermarkets there and as soon as you put it next to beef it just stands out. It is purple; the colour of the meat is like deep maroon purple. There is no fat on it at all and it just stands out.

“You will never see it in butchers because you could never pass it off as raw but all these manufacturers, once it’s cooked it just turns brown like beef right away so they can then pass it off.”

Mr Trampnow was also hopeful that the press coverage will benefit his business: “A customer has just come in to say it’s been on the television, to tell everyone to go back to the butchers, so it might make us a bit busier.

“It is a dying trade anyway, I think with it being in the paper every day last week, that they were taking the tin cans off the shelf and now that it has been on the news I think we might do a little bit more.”

Additional reporting by Urwi Patel & Phoebe Au

About Joe Barnes, JMU Journalism