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The Great Horsemeat Scandal

What a crazy few weeks we have seen in the meat industry with horsemeat in manufactured products in supermarkets. No doubt this will have reached the institutions – schools, hospitals, canteens, nursing homes etc – as well.

I am a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Butchers, an old established organisation, set up around 1000 years ago to create standards for the meat industry in London. It’s amazing that we are still having issues in this trade a millennium later.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Who is to blame for this? It appears to me to be a cyclical routine.

  • Large and powerful retailers dictate and drive down prices to suppliers/manufacturers
  • Honest suppliers struggle to compete
  • Dishonest suppliers cut corners, buy inferior ingredients and win contracts
  • A scandal erupts when it is discovered why prices have been so cheap
  • New regulations are brought in to close this loop hole
  • The retailers revert back to honest quality suppliers  – if they are still in business
  • This all costs money, and the cost of a decent healthy product now goes up because of regulations.

The ones who suffer are the customers.

Someone is to blame for this. If a supplier offered me meat below cost price, it would be so obvious that I would not go near it (this is probably why no one ever does come to us offering cheap meat!)

Retailers have an obligation to know what they are offering. I realise that not everyone reading this blog will be a customer of mine, so what should you do? Find a good quality local butcher in your area with a sound reputation. A ‘Q Guild’ butcher is a pretty good start.

Ask the right questions/get to know him/her.

  • Where does the meat come from – preferably the farm or the local abattoir
  • Does he know the farmer, abattoir owner?
  • Does he look you in the eye?
  • Do the delivery vehicles back up what he is saying?
  • Don’t buy the cheapest produce in the frozen supermarket aisle
  • If this doesn’t fit your pocket, buy less and better.

I am really proud to supply two local schools, many restaurants and nursing homes in this area, and whilst they constantly moan at my prices and say they can buy cheaper, they have the foresight to stick with me because of the quality and assurance I can offer them. I am very grateful to these customers and my regular shop clients as well.

Support your local butcher!