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Havering shoppers choose local butchers after horse-meat scandal

Chi Johnson is reaping the benefit of the horse meat scandal. Chi Johnson is reaping the benefit of the horse meat scandal.

Thursday, February 21, 2013
5:00 PM

Butchers around the borough say they have seen a rise in sales as customers come back to the high street and choose to shop locally after the horse-meat scandal.

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Chi knows where his meat comes fromChi knows where his meat comes from

In January, food products listed as beef were found to contain horse meat at some of the big supermarket chains across the country.

Local butchers say customers are now shunning the supermarkets to shop with them because they want to trust where their food is coming from and what it is.

Advice

Chi Johnson, owner of C Johnson and Son, in Corbets Tey Road, Upminster, said: “We have seen an increase in sales between 25 and 35 per cent.

James Seingier, Chi Johnson, Mandy Reilly, and Steve Young.James Seingier, Chi Johnson, Mandy Reilly, and Steve Young.

“We are a shop with six staff and we all know where our animals come from.”

He added: “Supermarkets can be rather faceless, but we can tell customers where the meat has come from, give advice on how to prepare it, and advice on cooking, what herbs to use with it, and what temperature to cook it on.”

David Baker, owner of Taylor FL, in North Street, Romford, said: “We have seen a lot of old faces returning, but also some new ones.

“People feel deceived after the scandal and they want to come to us as they know we can trace the meat.”

Tony Darvill, partner of R and J Darvill and Son, said: “A lot of people are saying they want to know what they are getting and see it. We can trace all our meat back to the farmers, and know them.

“Our beef is from Aberdeen, our pork is from Essex and our chicken is from Norfolk and Suffolk.”

Russell Lurton, owner of Williams, in Gidea Park, said they source their beef from Scotland, lamb from Devon and Cornwall, and pork and chickens from Suffolk.

He said: “We have seen an increase, especially in the food we make ourselves, like burgers and sausages.

“We try to be as competitive as we can.

“A lot of people say they would go to supermarkets as they assumed they were cheaper, but that’s not always the case.”

Alex Armstrong, chairman of Havering Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted as this goes back to the ethos of buying local.

“You know what you are getting and where from, and can ask the butcher directly. I would say give it a go, and try your local butcher.”

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