Butcher shops right across Inishowen are reporting a bumper trade.
That’s the silver lining locally after it was confirmed this week that many so called ‘beef products’ available in the big supermarket chains right across Europe could be 100% horsemeat.
Speaking yesterday Donal McCauley, of the local butcher’s in Moville, commented: “There is a massive swing back towards family butchers. What we are seeing now is people coming in and buying two or three pounds of mince steak. They are taking this home to make lasagne or bolognese; they are making these dishes themselves now rather than buying them in the supermarket.“
Mr McCauley said he had heard ‘an awful lot of talk’ amongst his customers about the horsemeat issue.
“I think it’s down to trust. I don’t think people trust the big mass produced items anymore; they don’t know what they are getting.
“For instance, I could not buy even in the raw meat at prices the supermarkets were charging for burgers - and they had to pay rent and rates, wages to workers, package the food and distribute them to the stores. It was always a mystery to me how they could undersell me and my costs were nowhere near theirs. I suppose it’s not so much of a mystery anymore in that we were having a discussion in the pub the other night and we reckoned horsemeat was 600% cheaper than prime beef.”
The Moville man said there was little doubt the ‘up side’ for the local butcher was the issue of trust.
“The family butcher shop was dying, I have to acknowledge that. We had our loyal customers, people who came in for years. But it was becoming more and more difficult to compete with the supermarkets with their 33% off offers.
“This has certainly been a big shot in the arm for us.”
Mark McLaughlin, of McLaughlin’s Butcher’s, Millbrae, Carndonagh said there had ‘most definitely’ been an increase in trade in his shop.
He told the ‘Journal’: “We have had the busiest January and February that I can recall in a very long time. There’s definitely an upsurge in trade. I think it’s a case of people trusting the old style family butcher for good quality meat. The thing is, meat in your local butcher can be traced, and that’s important in giving people confidence in what they are buying. The other important thing is that we are local. People know us. They can see the meat in the shop and they know what they are getting.”
The chairman of the IFA in Donegal, PJ Monagle has welcomed the trade boost.