John Chadwick, of Noel Chadwick in Wigan, talks about transparency in the trade.
"In the 1950s, there were between 5,000-6,000 slaughterhouses in the UK, and almost all towns and villages had access to one, whether private or publicly owned. Today, there are only 336, with only 97 having been granted full approval.
Meat was displayed in butchers' shops in carcase form, affirming the link between farm animals and food. This changed in the late 1980s with the advent of the supermarkets, hygiene rules and the development of
Schools stopped teaching pupils cookery and, instead of seizing this opportunity to educate, parts of the meat industry refused access to the general public, helping to perpetuate the myth that all slaughterhouses were dirty and unhygienic, with unskilled workers who
were nothing more than brutal thugs.
So is it any wonder some consumers lack confidence in British meat and that there is a dire shortage of young people wanting to join our profession?
Congratulations to John Mettrick and his family for participating in the TV documentary Kill It, Cook It, Eat It. They had the courage of their convictions and stood firm, even when some in the industry advised them it was the wrong thing to do.
John Mettrick has laid the foundation stone. Industry and government should recognise this and use it to develop a series of educational resources aimed at all consumers, regardless of their age.
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