Horsemeat burger scandal gives fresh impetus to Meat Crusade

In the fall-out of the horsemeat burger scandal, meat wholesaler John Penny & Sons has claimed consumers are returning to the high street butcher for their meat.

According to the wholesaler, the recent discovery has “motivated consumers across the country” to think more seriously about what goes into their food. John Penny explained that since it was revealed some mass-produced beef burgers in the UK were found to contain up to 29% horsemeat, consumer confidence had been “undermined”.

The scandal has also given the wholesaler’s ‘Meat Crusade’ campaign, which aims to get quality butcher’s meat back on dinner tables, extra prominence.  

Brindon Addy, chairman of the Q Guild and owner of Addy’s Butcher’s in Hade Edge, said: “With a reputable high street butcher, it’s all about trust. People have a right to know exactly what is in the food they are eating and we can guarantee our meat is traceable to the exact farm it came from, at good value, ensuring the farmer and the customer get a fair price.”

“Whenever there is a food scare, such as the one we are experiencing now, more people come to us to purchase their meat because they trust us. However, three months later when the media reporting has subsided, many people forget these issues and return to convenience shopping at the supermarket.”

Addy also claimed supermarkets cannot compete on the quality and service offered by an independent butcher’s. He said he believed years of supermarkets “constantly” trying to force down prices had meant their suppliers have had to “cut corners in quality”.  

Together with high street butchers and its growing band of loyal supporters, The Meat Crusade hopes to encourage shoppers to continue buying traceable meat from credible butchers who deal with ethical and principled farmers and meat wholesalers.

John Penny said: “The way we shop for meat has been radically altered by the domination of convenient one-stop shops that encourage the use of mass food production techniques to create high volumes.

“The decline of the high street butcher has been swiftly accelerated by challenging economic conditions. There used to be some 22,000 in the mid-1980s, according to Ed Bedington, editor of Meat Trades Journal. In 2010, there were just 6,553.”


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