Shoppers are turning to South Holland’s butchers for reliably sourced meat in the wake of the supermarkets scandal with horse meat being sold in beef products such as burgers and lasagne.
Tesco and Aldi have each withdrawn five ready made beef dishes so far and Morrisons four, but other supermarkets taking one or more products off their shelves include Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Asda, Waitrose, and Iceland.
Spalding and East Elloes Butchers’ Association held their annual meeting on Monday night and all members reported an upsurge in trade.
Industry insiders say butchers pay around £1,300 for an average bullock carcass while a horse carcass can be bought for as little as £100-£200 – and supermarkets may have become victims of their own strategy to drive down the price they pay suppliers.
Butcher Jim Tointon, who owns A W Jackson and Sons, of West End, Holbeach, said: “We are seeing new faces, but it would have been more dramatic had it been summer time when people eat more burgers.
“We have never, ever bought anything other than beef, pork, lamb and chicken and all our meat comes from within a 20 mile radius of Holbeach.”
Mr Tointon said it’s disgusting that shoppers are being misled with supermarket labels describing a product as beef when it contains horse meat.
Mary Adams, a director of butchers George Adams, in The Crescent, Spalding, said: “We have certainly had more customers in.”
Customers are now asking more questions about suppliers, which their butchers are happy to answer.
“Supermarkets, at the end of the day, have been fraudulently sold something,” she said. “They didn’t intentionally buy horse meat but, because they are so competitive, they are forcing producers to make some money somehow.”