London, 12 Safar 1436/5 December 2014 (MINA) – Distrust over supermarket meat is leading many customers close to vegetarianism, according to a Forest of Dean butcher.
Ben Morton, who runs a butchers shop in Staunton, believes businesses like his provide better quality of meat than his supermarket competitors.
The owner of Ben Morton Meats said supermarkets do not offer the same level of knowledge as at a butchers, and people have lost trust in supermarket meats, gloucestercitizen quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting on Thursday.
Ben said it is healthier to eat a butcher’s meat because they source their produce locally, and their animals are not transported for hundreds of miles before being slaughtered.
Supermarkets have recently come under fire for being unclear about the origin of their meat, including in May when halal meat was found to be sold in many stores without the appropriate labels.
Ben said: “People have lost a lot of trust with supermarkets over the past few years because they don’t know where their meat is coming from.
“Meat in supermarkets might have travelled between 150 to 200 miles to be killed, which is quite a stressful process for the animals. A lot of people have considered going vegetarianism because they don’t know what they are eating.
“We’re hoping to encourage people to eat good quality local produce because farmers are struggling at the moment. All our meat is locally sourced and we know how to prepare it properly.”
Ben said butcher shops like his are a dying breed and it is becoming difficult to recruit fresh blood into the industry.
He said: “Eight months ago, three butchers shop in this country were closing down every week. We are becoming less popular because supermarkets are convenient for households who want to buy everything in one hit. Everyone seems to be in a rush all the time now.”
“There are not many people that are interested in a trade like this any more. But it’s very important to keep butchery from becoming an old man’s game.
“It’s really important to preserve skills like ours because it’s all about the perfection of the product at a village butcher. They should know their meat inside and out, and know how to make the meat the best it can be.”
Ben started working at the Ledbury Road shop when he was 15 and he now owns the shop aged just 22.
He ventured into farming aged 18 when he was responsible for 2,000 sheep at nearby Eldersfield Farm, but his first love of butchery brought him back a year later.
He said: “I get a lot of pleasure from customers service and people complimenting me on how a piece of meat is prepared. It always gives me butterflies in my stomach.
“When I started serving people aged 15 I just decided that it was what I wanted to do with my life. It was a massive thing for me when I was younger and it gave me loads of confidence.
“It’s important that young people get into butchery because there aren’t any machines that can do our jobs.”(T/P009/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)