It has been a turbulent time for butchers and meat sales in supermarkets over the past few years - scandal after scandal has hit, with horsemeat and halal meat sticking in people’s minds. And there is no let up as there seems to be another media storm brewing…
I’m Simon Badley, managing director at G. N. Badley & Sons butchers which was set up by my father almost 40 years ago. This may seem like a scaremongering and a bit depressing but stick with me, it gets exciting.
We heard this week that Faccenda Group, a chicken processing firm with a major factory in Telford, has recently been under investigation for alleged meat hygiene issues. So supermarkets have been pressured into investigating their own meats source, unable to confirm if they are supplied by the firm in question.
But as a local family-run butcher, we have not only dodged this scandal, we wouldn’t need to investigate where our meat comes from if anything was ever questioned. We source and buy all our meat locally, rather than using big factories as suppliers like the supermarkets do, and our meat is easy to trace through our own specially designed app. It was developed by Midland Computers (another local firm!) and allows us to trace it down to the minute it leaves our supplier and reaches us.
And while the supermarkets are sweating, so are the farmers. Shropshire and Mid Wales farmers are set to go through a troublesome period and prices tumble. Recent statistics have shown the average price of beef has dropped about 50p per kg in the last year. They are being paid up to £300 less per breast than they were just a year ago, mainly due to foreign imports into the supermarkets.
We can’t help but feel this is again mainly down to the processing firms/ supermarkets using their large market share to dictate the price they pay to the farmers. If the farmers relied on their local clients (like us!) it would be a real struggle for them to stay afloat, because we just simply don’t buy in bulk like the processing firms and supermarkets do. But at least we can tell you where our meat comes from in a few clicks - and we will always use local, trusted farmers as our suppliers.
Despite the doom and gloom, there is reason to celebrate - a report released by the FSA (Foods Standards Agency) this month (July) has revealed no horsemeat in the latest round of testing. Hurrah! Supermarkets have finally listened to the customers who spoke with their feet and went elsewhere. Maybe now you can start to believe what is written on packets. In August it will have been a year since the last traces of horse DNA were found in meat tested by the FSA.
A collective sigh of relief for those supplies all over the country I think - but the moral of the story is: Love Meat, Love Quality, Love Local: shop at G. N. Badley & Sons family butchers in Gibbons Road, Trench.
You can shop online at www.gnbadleyandsons.co.uk and see what other people think on the Best Of Telford website at http://www.thebestof.co.uk/local/telford-and-wrekin/business-guide/feature/g-n-badley-and-sons-online-butchers-shop. For more information on the latest products call 0808 901 2110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.