Consumers will drive change in the meat trade - Crickhowell butcher.
Crickhowell is lucky to have two butchers. But what people do not know is that Richards, at the end of the High Street, have a big behind-the-scenes operation supplying meat to many of the area’s most popular hotels and restaurants.
Lee Naylor and his partner Charlene have run Richards for the past five years with the help of three other butchers. All the meat on their shop counter is certified Welsh. Their beef comes from W.J. George Abattoir at Talgarth, which sources from nearby farms. Their lamb is from Jones Brothers in Wrexham. A sticker on the counter proclaims that they accurately present the provenance of their Welsh meat and a chalkboard on the wall gives the traceability number for each supplier.
Butcher Paul Jones said: “All the lamb and beef on the counter is Welsh because people around here like it. Because of the large numbers of hotels and restaurants we supply, some of the meat for them is from further afield, but we always buy British because of the superior quality.”
Richards’ free-range pork comes from Gloucestershire, their eggs from Hereford and their chicken from Norfolk.
“The chicken is farm assured. We would love to buy more local, but we can’t find a supplier we are happy with. The Norfolk chickens are very good quality,” said Paul.
Paul and Lee believe that ultimately, it will be down to consumers to drive the change if they want to see more local meat on menus.
“The hotel and restaurant business is very competitive on price,” said Lee, “and it is hard to compete against the big suppliers offering cheap meat, even though the quality of what we offer is better. If people want to see more local meat on menus, they will have to ask for it.”
And the same applies to meat from rare breeds. Meat production in the UK is dominated by a few breeds which grow quickly and look good on the counter. “Rare breeds are rare for a reason,” says Lee. “They often have a lot more fat on them, which we end up cutting off, and the meat doesn’t look as good on the counter. People shop with their eyes, and if we want to see more rare breeds, then people are going to have to start buying differently.”
Richards is still up and running, despite COVID-19. Continue to support your local food businesses!
Article and photographs by Tim Jones, As You See It Media
Richards Butchers of CrickhowellShop
|Address||55 High St, Crickhowell NP8 1BH|
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