As Christmas approaches, campaigners fighting to save the humble high street butchers are calling on the public to support their butchers for life and not just for Christmas.
The Meat Crusade has been fighting this year to encourage the public to buy their meat from butchers to arrest the decline in their numbers nationwide.
They point to the high quality of product and service, along with the benefits they bring to local farming communities, as reasons to throw business their way.
John Penny, Yorkshire Farmer and Meat Wholesaler, explains: “We all flock to the butcher at Christmas because we want the best we can buy for our family. We forget we can buy the best from the local butcher all year round. Visiting a good butcher shouldn’t be a once-a-year occasion, it should be a once-a-week routine.
“Butchers need your support now more than ever. If the decline continues, the high street butcher will go the way of the fishmonger– only a handful of shops will remain and the art of butchery will be lost for generations.
“That’s why The Meat Crusade wants shoppers to know that if we fail to support our butchers throughout the year, you might find that many won’t be able to open their doors next Christmas.
“If we don’t step up to do the right thing, very shortly our purchasing choices could contribute to the disappearance of our high street butchers altogether.”
Peter Buck, of Hutchinson’s of Ripley, butcher for 55 years, says, “There’s no reason why customers shouldn’t be supporting butchers and purchasing quality meat from us all year round.
“There’s a perception that shopping at the supermarket is cheaper, but actually in many cases, butcher’s meat is better value as well as considerably better quality.”