Old customers return to buy quality meats in Devon and Cornwall after horsemeat scandal
A campaign to celebrate the best of regional food is continuing to reap rewards.
The Western Morning News relaunched its Buy Local initiative on Saturday in the wake of the horsemeat scandal to encourage consumers and businesses to source as much produce as possible from Devon and Cornwall.
There are plenty of disillusioned supermarket customers who have lost confidence in the origins of what they are being sold over the supermarket counters and are returning to local suppliers.
Jane Gourley, shop manager at the Tintagel branch of Trevarthen butchers, said trade had rocketed by 25% in the past two weeks.
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"People have been put off supermarkets," she said. "They are promising to buy their meat elsewhere, which is very helpful to us.
"Normally you just can't compete with the supermarkets because people know they are cheaper. But now we are noticing a lot of our old customers returning."
Owner Robert Trevarthen has one of the largest and most modern independent abattoirs in Cornwall, employing some 50 people.
His business has been running for 25 years and has three other stores, including a farm shop at Penhalvean, near Redruth. All meat is sourced from local farmers and has full Cornish traceability.
Ms Gourley said: "What we can guarantee is quality and we know where everything is sourced. Each item can be traced through our abattoir back to the local farms.
"We are getting sales from some bed and breakfasts and hotels in the area, as well as people looking for bargains."
Not all local customers are Cornish, with some people venturing across the border from Devon. "Our customers come from a good radius of up to 20 miles away," Ms Gourley said. "That's just local people buying local produce. They don't mind travelling for good quality beef, lamb and other meats and diary products."
Yesterday the Food Standards Agency announced it would doubling the number of DNA tests being carried out on beef-based products.
The horsemeat scandal has prompted the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to encourage people to keep trade local by supporting local butchers and other independent retailers.
David Shephard, Devon Regional FSB chairman, said: "Independent shops often provide a better quality product – it may well have been sourced from a local farm and in many cases won't have travelled far to reach the shop. It isn't surprising that some local butchers have seen an increase in sales during the current scandal."