Horsemeat: Breached trust sends consumers to the high streets

Consumers are heading to the high street with Q Guild butchers across the UK seeing freshly made beef burger sales increase by up to 30% in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.

Trade has increased by an average of 10% for the Q Guild, a membership organisation established in 1986 representing the UK’s 110 best independent, high-quality butchers and independent meat retailers.

The figures indicate that consumer trust in supermarkets has been dented due to the scandal.

Commenting on the figures, Brindon Addy, chairman of the Q Guild said: “Since the horsemeat scandal hit the news, I think consumers have become aware that there isn’t transparency in purchasing meat – in particular burgers – from their supermarket.

“This isn’t the case with our butchers, who can show the provenance of all the products they sell. We pride ourselves on being able to deliver from farm to plate and knowing each step of that process,” he added.

The Q Guild includes award-winning butchers and leading experts in the field.

Gordon Atkinson, from Elite Meat in Harrogate, said: “We have had many customers come in asking if we have a traceability policy in place. I tell them, ‘Beef comes from Frank, pigs come from Colin and all the lambs come from my brother, Andrew.’ It’s a simple policy but it works for us, provenance of our produce is what it’s all about.”

Martin Player, from Martin Player High Class Butchers in Cardiff, said: “We cannot believe how many beef burgers are flying off our shelves. More and more customers are coming through the door, even battling the bad weather to get here. In our shop alone we saw an increase in burger sales of 40%.”