TRADITIONAL butchers in Mansfield and Ashfield have reported a surge in sales in the wake of the ongoing horse meat scare.
Last month, it emerged that horse meat had been found in burgers and ready meals, prompting many big name retailers to pull their products from the shelves.
But now butchers in the area say they are benefiting from increased trade as people turn to independent shops which often have shorter supply chains.
Scott Barlow, who owns Scott Barlow butchers in Nuncargate, said: “You pay a little bit more here but if food is cheap there is a reason why it’s cheap.
“It’s been brilliant (for us). This year we are 20 per cent up on takings - we are selling more burgers than we sell in barbecue season.”
And Ady Roberts, also from Scott Barlow butchers, says that people are starting to take more interest in their food.
He said: “This week I’ve seen a lot of faces I’ve never seen before. We have had a lot of people asking where the meat is from.
“We use local farms. We use a guy on Salmon Lane (in Annesley) for our beef and we use a farm at Papplewick for our pork.
“The problem is young ones go to the supermarket - they are frightened to ask a butcher.”
Butcher Tracey Fairbrother, who owns the Meat Larder on Ratcliffe Gate in Mansfield, also reported an upturn in sales.
He said: “I have seen new faces - people have lost their faith in the supermarkets.
“We never normally sell burgers when there’s snow on the ground.”
Meanwhile, bosses at Nottinghamshire County Council have reassured residents that it has safeguards in place trace the meat it serves in day centres, care homes, schools and other outlets.
The council’s procurement group manager Steve Carter said: “We can trace the source of all of our meat products and are confident that our suppliers are taking all necessary action in response to the current reports relating to traces of horse meat entering the food supply chain.
“Our two meat suppliers have rigorous manufacturing processes and specifications in place to meet product standards and prevent any cross-contamination. And our robust procurement contracts also ensure that there are strict controls on where ingredients are purchased.
“As our meat suppliers are UK-based, they’re also subject to testing at source by environmental health and trading standards officers.”
The council uses Maloney’s butchers in Tuxford for most of its meat supplies and Brakes for a small number of lines.