What's the Latest Development?
Since the discovery of horsemeat in certain prepackaged meals sold in the UK, independent top-end butchers have seen their sales go up by as much as 30 percent, according to the Q Guild, a trade organization representing the group. Customers such as Mark McCartney of London cite confidence in the meat's quality and history as sufficient reason to buy from local butchers: "I trust this meat more than I trust anything out of the supermarkets...it's better quality and it's better people getting the money."
What's the Big Idea?
The Q Guild's numbers demonstrate how, despite the UK government's continued reassurances about food safety, public confidence in processed food products has taken a severe hit. However, given the current state of the country's economy, it's unlikely that customer avoidance of supermarkets and their meat selections will last. Veteran butcher Raymond Roe says he understands people's loss of trust, but "supermarkets are convenient for everyone and most people haven't got much time. A lot of it is, people don't cook no more." According to one research firm, four supermarket chains together cover 75 percent of the entire British grocery market.
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