As confidence in supermarkets withers, stock of the local butcher is on the rise
WATCHING meat as it is sliced and prepared at the local butcher's feels almost like an indulgent treat in this age of supermarkets and fast food.
It is often perceived to come at a slightly higher price – but local farmer and MP Mark Spencer, who runs Spring Lane Farm Shop, in Mapperley, says that is often not the case.
With more people now turning to butchers in the wake of the horse meat scandal, Mr Spencer says: "It doesn't cost more – it often costs less.
"We often compare our prices to the internet prices of local supermarkets.
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"What we find is they very cleverly market an advert with one cut of meat and discount that cut of meat, which they splash across the press – and hope everyone gets the perception the other cuts are in a similar price range."
He argues that butchers often have smaller margins and their costs are often less.
He says shoppers can also buy cheaper cuts of meat in the butcher's – by asking for a bit off the end of a leg of lamb, or the shoulder, which is cheaper.
Other cheap cuts include brisket of beef and leg of beef.
"More importantly, particularly with processed products like minced beef, you can see what they're doing – you can see it being minced right in front of you."
Graham Hulland, general manager of Cleaver Meats, which has a store at Nottingham's Victoria Market, thinks the "scandal" will help smaller shops.
"People have lost faith in supermarkets," he said. "Confidence is at an all-time low. This has happened because supermarkets squeeze suppliers for cheaper products to meet public demand and, unfortunately, not everyone is honest along the way and corners are cut.
"If people shop with us, they know they are getting meat sourced in Derbyshire and Scotland and butchered at our site in Alvaston. Our meat has full traceability and regular inspections are carried out at our plant, which is one of the best in the country."