Horsemeat scandal boosts business for local butchers

Richard Balderson's mobile meat stall has doubled tis trade since the horsemeat scandal errupted.
Richard Balderson's mobile meat stall has doubled tis trade since the horsemeat scandal errupted.
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The horsemeat scandal may have cast widespread controversy over the European food industry but small local butchers say business has never been so good.

Passionate young butcher Richard Balderson says trade at his stalls in Alford and Chapel St Leonards has doubled since the scandal first emerged a fortnight ago.

He believes the discovery of horse DNA in ready meals has made consumers more wary of where their meat is coming from, prompting a return in favour for small local butchers like himself.

He said: “People seem to be more conscious about what they are buying - they want to know about the animals and where they come from.

“The day has come for small butchers again, everything has come full circle.”

Having grown up on a farm near Hogsthorpe, with a rich family history in rearing livestock, Richard says he is committed to offering high quality, accountably sourced produce.

Much of his stock was reared on his father’s farm and slaughtered in Boston, with the remainder coming from other known local producers.

“I like eating good quality meat and I wouldn’t sell anything if I don’t know where it’s come from,” he said.

“There are a whole host of procedures we have to go through when we send animals to be slaughtered, so it shows that the supermarkets have had too much power to be able to get away with something like this - its despicable really.”

The 20-year-old decided upon butchery as a career after finishing school to see through to the final stage the work started on the farm at home.

After an apprenticeship at Sunnyside Up in Market Rasen he opened his own mobile meat stall, which trades at Alford Market on Tuesdays and Fridays and outside Chapel St Leonards Village Hall on Saturdays.

He will also begin trading near Poppy’s Restaurant on Burgh Road approaching Skegness every Thursday from March 28.