Independent butchers see benefits of horse meat scandal

Kris Ransom, manager at Knibbs butchers in Royston

Kris Ransom, manager at Knibbs butchers in Royston - Credit: Archant

BUTCHERS in Crow country say they have seen a surge in trade since the horse meat scandal hit the headlines.

Traces of horse have been found in a variety of beef products, with supermarkets including Tesco and Asda having withdrawn some foods from the shelves.

But the news has benefited independent retailers.

Kris Ransom, manager of Knibbs butchers in Royston, said: “We have had a lot of new customers and people asking about where our meat comes from.

“I think people were complacent about their shopping, and don’t realise how much meat actually costs. It doesn’t surprise me that these manufacturers weren’t using the best cuts of meat, but I was shocked when they said there was some horse in there.”

Mr Ransom said Knibbs’ meat all comes from farms in East Anglia. It is a similar story at Crumps Butchers in Ashwell, which has been established in the village for nearly 90 years.

Owner Jonathan Crump said: “My father and grandfather were butchers, and I was brought up not to eat anything out of a packet.

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“But when you read the ingredients and it says the product inside is beef, you should be able to trust that.

“We know all the farmers we deal with, so we’re able to say where all our meat has come from, but when shops are selling a whole lasagna for £3 or £4 something has to give.

“In the last couple of weeks things have definitely picked up for us, its been very busy.”

Herts County Council put a message out to reassure people that school meals were not affected.

Frances Button, cabinet member for education and skills, said: “I can reassure pupils and parents that Hertfordshire Catering does not use ready prepared meals within its food offering and no Hertfordshire Catering products have been implicated in any of the FSA findings to date.

“As a further precaution Hertfordshire Catering is undertaking appropriate research and testing of specific products in conjunction with Hertfordshire Trading Standards.”