Horsegate scandal boosts butchers

One year on from the horsemeat scandal, food producers in north Northumberland have seen a boost in business.

Hundreds of products which contained traces of horse DNA were removed from the shelves of supermarkets and shops across the country last year.

But while the situation put big names in a bad light, local butchers and independents shone.

And Turnbull’s of Alnwick is one of those.

Mark Turnbull, owner of the Market Street operation, said: “During February of last year, Turnbull’s saw a massive increase in numbers of people shopping with us and an enormous amount of interest in the provenance of meat.

“During February and March, at the height of Horsegate, we were seeing increases of 30 per cent and more in fresh meat sales.

“While the increase of sales in fresh meat has fallen back, Turnbull’s, in line with most members of the Butchers Q Guild, have managed to retain around about a 10 per cent increase in fresh meat sales.”

“What has been most interesting is the increase in younger shoppers. Traditionally, family butchers have attracted more senior customers, but the biggest increase over the past 12 months has been in the 26 to 45-year-old categories.

“It’s great to see that younger people have had the opportunity to look at the UK supermarket supply chain and have decided to shop with their local butcher.

Nationally a survey by the Q Guild of Butchers found that businesses saw around a 10 per cent increase in sales after the horsemeat scandal with raw meat the most popular product and ready-prepared products also being a hit.