A PREVIOUSLY stable meat market has seen sales for local shops galloping ahead as consumers become more selective in the wake of the UK horsemeat scandal.
A number of butchers around the island have reported increased sales of items like burgers, sausages and pies to shoppers who no longer want to risk cheap mass-produced, pre-packed products.
Tommy Campbell, who has been a butcher in the island for the past 50 years, currently from his shop in Willaston said the change had been noticeable.
‘We make our own pies, sausages and beef burgers and sales have definitely gone up,’ he said.
‘What we have been seeing lately is the equivalent of the summer trade for beef burgers. Our sausages are a 100 per cent Manx meat product as well. We had the inspectors round recently and I could tell him they were guaranteed 110 per cent horsemeat-free.’
He explained how it was much easier for a small butcher to keep track of its meat sources.
‘Most of our meat is Manx from the meat plant and it is very good,’ said Tommy. ‘The only exception is the steak which is sourced in Ireland. Customers seem to like it. I’m in no way knocking Manx meat, it’s just the Irish steak that is more consistent.’
Lee Mayers of Traditional Butchers and Bacon Curers in Kirk Michael said he too had seen some upsurge in sales of beef burgers and sausages.
‘I stick to doing what I know and it’s nice to see new faces coming in,’ he said. ‘This shop had a good trade before I took it over and so we tend to keep the same suppliers.’
He too said the meat was principally sourced in the Isle of Man with the exception of steak which came from Cumbria.
It was a similar story for Radcliffe’s butchers on Malew Street in Castletown, which has also seen processed product sales boosted.
Co-owner Zoe Thompson said they used Manx pork and beef and all their burgers, sausages and pies were produced on the premises and sales of those and mince as well were doing well.
‘They have all been increasing lately,’ said Zoe. ‘We sell a lot anyway but it has gone up, partly because people are choosing to make their own dishes like lasagne rather than buying ready made.’
According to Neil Ryder of Harrison and Garrett on Prospect Terrace burger sales are booming for them too.
‘People like to know what they are getting,’ he said.
‘The produce is born, reared and slaughtered locally and it’s made on our premises.’