Bridport butchers come out on top as horsemeat scandal continues
8:30pm Tuesday 19th February 2013 in NewsBy Rene Gerryts
SHOPPERS in Bridport are turning back to butchers in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.
With concern growing about ‘criminal activity’ at the heart of the crisis, local traders say they are seeing an increase in customers who want to know where their food comes from. Richard Balson of Balsons Butchers in West Road said they had been seeing and increase in customers.He said: “It has made people aware of what they are buying. “It is all about traceability. We can trace form the farm shop to the butchers’ counter. “If you buy convenience food for £1.59 it can’t be a lot of good stuff in it can it? It is just common sense.
“It is a wake up call for consumers and it has been good for us.” Phil Frampton, of butchers Framptons in East Street, said he thinks local butchers could benefit in the long term. He added: “If there’s a proper investigation it will do give us a long-term benefit. “The UK is not self-sufficient and that’s why we import meat. “But when supermarkets give away a bottle of wine and two so-called finest cuts of meat and dessert for £10, they can sell it cheaper than I can buy it for. “Around Christmas, one of the big supermarkets was selling topside of beef for £5 a kilo when we’re paying £7 a kilo for it.” Mr Frampton said there are information points around the shop so people can see where the meat comes from. He said: “We’ve been getting younger people coming in with children. People can talk to us behind the counter about where the meat comes from – the packet can’t talk, can it?"
Caroline Morgan, chief executive of Bridport Local Food Links which provides school and day centre meals said that they had always worked using only high quality ingredients and that all food is prepared by them from scratch. We believe that the quality of our food is everything. We don’t use any processed foods.These problems have arisen from buying in ready-processed meals. We have got a good reputation and a great relationship with quality suppliers. We believe that the meals we offer children are the closest you can get to cooking for them at home. We order straight from our butchers, we know where that meat has come from and everything is put together when it’s fresh. If you are buying frozen meals then basically you are trusting the label on the packet. We hope that parents and schools can trust us and we are always happy to answer any questions directly. There is a feedback form on our website.”