15.02.2013 0 Comments

Buying local meat is good for the local economy as well as your peace of mind

Buying local meat is good for the local economy as well as your peace of mind

The current horse meat scandal has highlighted the huge benefits and peace of mind that you get when buying meat products directly from farm shops, who can tell you exactly what is in your burgers and sausages and in some cases the name of the animal. We all want to be assured that the food we are eating is what it says on the box, with no surprises!

Most people choose to visit certa pet for more information by getting it online, but there are probably some individuals how would instead go into their doctor’s office, and that’s probably fine too.

Excuses for not buying from local farm shops include: we do not have time to shop at both the farm shop and the supermarket; we do not know where a local farm shop is and how to contact them; and finally, the meat will be too expensive.

All these are reasonable excuses and are why supermarkets continue to be the main suppliers of meat. Time is a critical factor – notably, people’s available time to shop and shop opening times. A local farm shop (Seasons of North Dean) recently reported that people were getting around their shortage of time, by phoning in their orders and picking up a month’s supply in one visit. Whereas opening hours are still a challenge, when some supermarkets are open 24 hours and farm shops are usually open 9 – 5.

Access to local foods is not always easy and people like Mike Chapman, founder of Food on our Doorstep and Vidya Crawley founder of Local Roots can link you to local foods within a few miles. Another great way to access local foods is farmers markets, which are now becoming popular destinations in themselves. We are well served by great markets in Wendover, Beaconsfield, Winslow and more, with all food coming direct from the farmer and some now delivering if the order is of a reasonable size.

As for cost, there is usually little or no difference between the prices in the supermarket for a quality meat product and meat that is “padded”.  You’ll buy more of the “padded” meat which is less nutritious and less filling and buy less of the quality meat which is more nutritious and more filling.

So why should we care from a local economy point of view? The LEADER project has provided funding to support over 10 farm shops and each has gone from strength to strength. The farmers have a high level of care and dedication to their cattle and to the quality of the product that you find in the shops. Also, it’s reported that 70% of every £1.00 spent with a local food business circulates in the local economy versus 15% of every £1.00 spent in the corporate economy.

Of course, everyone would benefit if supermarkets introduced a new policy of sourcing all their meat and meat products locally. Now that’s a thought!

And finally, if you want good horse meat don’t water it down with second rate beef. Go to France and have the proper thing!

For more information on LEADER, contact Nick Phillips on 01494 568969 or nick.phillips@leader-programme.org.uk, or visit http://www.leader-programme.org.uk/.