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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Horse meat scandal leads to surge in sales for Cumbrian butcher Cranstons

Cumbrian butcher Cranstons has seen a surge in its sales of beef as consumers horrified by the national horse meat scandal turn to the firm for meat.

Philip Cranston photo
Philip Cranston

Beefburger and beef mince sales are up by between five and 10 per cent. The boost in sales is being seen as evidence that consumers are increasingly desperate to buy products which they can trust – and Cumbrian farmers say the horse-meat scandal shows the benefits of buying British beef.

Cranstons’ managing director Philip Cranston said: “We have seen an increase of five and 10 per cent for these two products, proving customers are voting with their feet and turning to local butchers they know they can trust.

“Our whole process from field to counter is straightforward and honest: we source our beef from local farmers and our cattle are slaughtered at nearby Blackbrow Abbatoir, Wigton.

“Finally, the full beef carcasses are broken down into mince and smaller cuts by our own master butchers, meaning our customers can be confident that their beefburgers and beef mince are horse meat-free.”

The increase in Cranstons’ trade is mirrored across the UK, as sales figures from all members of the Butchers Q Guild, a membership organisation of the UK’s 110 top independent butchers, show consumers have been turning to traditional butchers in the wake of the scandal.

Meanwhile, the Carlisle-based food firm Cavaghan & Gray, says its own investigations have confirmed that none of its suppliers have been involved in the ongoing horse-meat scandal.

A spokesman said: “None of our products are implicated in this. We don’t source our meat from any of the places which have been implicated. We don’t source meat from suppliers in Poland, France or Romania.”

Along with other food firms, the company is planning to carry out further tests as demanded by the Food Standards Agency but the details of how and to what extend this will be done have yet to be clarified, said the spokesman, who said the firm can trace its meat ingredients to the originating farms.

The National Farmers Union Cumbrian livestock spokesman Graham Hogg, who farms in Egremont, said: “If you want a cast iron assurance that the food you’re buying is what it says it is and has been produced to the highest animal welfare stands, buy 100% British and only buy products with the Union Jack or Red Tractor logo on it.”

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