The benefits of shopping at your local butchers this Christmas and beyond.

When chatting to a fellow marketing consultant recently he openly asked me ‘What’s the difference between buying your meat from a butchers or a supermarket?’ Which got me thinking, do we promote the benefits of shopping at a local butchers shop for your meat, enough?

Before the domination of the supermarket retailers, every high street would have independent butchers, bakers and grocers, where people would shop for everyday goods, eggs, fruit, vegetables, meat, fish etc.

Those who have stood the test of time still remain and have diversified their offering to appeal to customer demands, with online shopping facilities, a delivery service and catering for restaurants and pubs.

Climate change and protecting the environment has had a huge impact on how we carry out our day to day lives. We now look at how things are packaged, how we can recycle and waste less as well as what we eat and how it was produced.

Personally, I prefer to eat seasonally, with local produce and growing our own meat and vegetables on our small family farm. Whilst many don’t have the advantage of having soil to grow food or grass to graze animals, there are many ways in which we can adopt new habits to help preserve the natural landscape that we enjoy and cherish.

Now for me, I love shopping at our local butchers, Joseph Morris Butchers in South Kilworth, Leicestershire. They also have two other shops on the outskirts of Rugby and Leicester. People travel for miles to shop with them, even bus loads of people from London visit, who you’ll see laden with sacks full of meat to take home for the freezer.

So why shop with them or with any other high street butcher?

  • Butchers will only buy from farms they trust, that are run well and adhere to high welfare standards.
  • They have a deep respect for the animals that they process and every last bit is used.
  • There is a short, traceable supply chain. You know that the animals were reared locally and only travelled a short distance
  • Food miles are low. Your goods haven’t been shipped from half way across the world
  • It’s fresh, whole food. What you see is what you get. Nothing processed and nothing added to make it last longer on the shelf
  • A butcher can talk to you about different cuts and give you exactly what you want, therefore no waste and can be a more affordable way to shop
  • It sustains the local / rural economy. You are supporting livelihoods, families and the fabric of communities rather than funding a billionaire’s private jet or 3rd holiday home.
  • You can really taste the difference. It’s QUALITY. No water and gristle,

It is a personal experience visiting the butchers. You shop with all your senses and in a way it is like dressing any other shop, with delicious offerings for people to buy.

Whilst I realise that meat-eating isn’t for everyone and can be an emotive subject, we do live in a society where many people still go hungry each night. Eating well is a luxury.

And people are time poor. The retailers have benefitted hugely from busy people who whizz round and can get everything they need all under one roof. Great. I shop with them too as I need toilet rolls, washing powder and bin liners to run an efficient, happy household.

But I think we can all make an informed choice on who gets our money, who benefits and what impact that will have on supporting our local economy as well as the environment.

As consumers, we all have a moral conscience and can do our bit to instigate change. Surely it’s better to see our local high street brimming with life than even more delivery drivers hurtling through the already congested roads to deliver us avocados from South America?

So tell me, will you be shopping at your local Butchers this Christmas?

Mum of two and Farmers Wife, Milly Fyfe is a dedicated advocate and promoter of British Food and Farming holding various voluntary positions as a Love British Food ambassador, a member of Ladies in Beef and a former chairman of the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs.

A regular contributor and communicator amongst mainstream and farming press, including a columnist in the Daventry Express and Countryside La Vie Magazine, as well as establishing her own food blog ‘No Fuss Meals for Busy Parents and Podcast ‘The Countryside Kitchen Meets.

You can follow Milly on social media @MillyFyfe or @MillyFyfeMarketingandPR

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