National Craft Butchers (NCB), the trade body representing quality independent retail butchers, launched their first ever survey of British Butchers in July 2021, reaching out butchery businesses across Britain. The results are now out and demonstrate just why butchers are the first choice for consumers concerned about climate change.
Sustainability and provenance are growing concerns for consumers and for British Butchers alike. Reducing food miles and supporting regenerative farming practices and the rural economy is ‘meat and drink’ to the majority of craft butchers:
- 87% of respondents prioritise local produce in their shops
- 6 out of 10 prefer to sell Grass fed, Organic or Free-Range meat
- 38% will buy animals live direct from market for full traceability
- Two-thirds rely on a small local abattoir to supply their meat
Over the last 18 months shopping habits have changed, with the survey revealing that
60% of butchers have experienced changes in their usual customer profile since March 2020 – the biggest change being the arrival of younger shoppers who want to shop locally and care about where their meat comes from.
Red meat produced in the UK is amongst the most sustainable in the world, so consumers can be confident that British livestock production is part of the solution not the problem. Recent information from AHDB, QMS and HCC points out that 65% of farmland in the UK is unable to sustain food crops but is ideal for grazing cattle and sheep and that the UK Climate is also ideal for growing grass for animals to eat. In other words, ‘It’s not the cow but the how.’
Richard Stevenson, Technical Manager of National Craft Butchers commented,
“As COP26 continues the results of our first Butchers Survey are a timely reminder that British Craft Butchers, like the farmers that supply them, take climate change seriously. They sell high quality, responsibly farmed British meat because they believe it’s the best, and so, in increasing numbers, do their customers. ”
National Craft Butchers encourage customers who care about where their meat comes from and how it is produced to visit their local craft butcher.