CUSTOMERS are snubbing supermarkets and turning to traditional butchers in the wake of the horse meat scandal.
Independent butchers in Denbighshire are reporting an upsurge in trade as more horse meat is discovered in processed foods and ready meals.
Supermarket companies Tesco which a store in Ruthin, Aldi, Lidl, which has a store in Denbigh, and frozen food firm Findus have found some beef products - including lasagne, spaghetti bolognese and burgers - contain up to 100 per cent horse meat.
Craig Stubbs, operational manager at Rhug Estate Farm Shop, said: “We have seen an increase, we've had a lot more customers.
"People are speaking more to the butchers and asking about the mince especially.
“We've definitely seen an increase, but whether it's just down to half term or if it's on a longer basis we'll have to wait and see.”
Corwen’s G R Evans Butchers has also seen more customers through its doors.
Manager Arwell Hughes said: “It is a vote of confidence, all our meat is sourced locally, and we have our own abattoir, so people trust us.
“With the recession people have a minimum on what they can spend, but people know if they pay nothing they get nothing.”
Andy Davies from Caerwys’ Award Winning butchers, Morgan’s Pori Gwych said they pride themselves on using locally sourced Welsh meat.
“We’ve seen an increase in the amount of meat products, mainly beef burgers,” said Mr Davies
“We only sell the genuine article, 95 per cent beef from G R Evans Abbatoir in Corwen with onion mix and bread crumbs.
“We have solid customers and now we’ve seen some new faces come in,” he added.
Managing director, Robin Jones, of the Village Bakery, the current True Taste Champion of Wales, is urging welsh companies to buy local meat in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.
The Village Bakery has put up posters in all its shops including, Llangollen and Ruthin to highlight that they only use locally sourced meat in their pies.
Mr Jones said: “We are extremely proud of our local sourcing policy that has been in place for many years.
“We know exactly where our meat comes from every week and we can name the individual farms in the Vale of Clwyd and the Conwy Valley who supplied us this
week. We don’t buy mince or re-conformed beef.
“We buy proper cuts and do all the butchering ourselves so that we can be sure exactly what we’re getting and that the quality is 100 per cent right.”
Denbighshire County Council is working closely with TUCO, the food consortium they use, to ensure food used in schools, residential homes and leisure centres do not contain horse meat.
A council spokesman said: "The council is committed to providing the best services possible to all of its consumers. As a result, it has carried out extensive checks with its food providers in light of the food labelling issues and no issues have emerged to date.
“However, residents in Denbighshire can be reassured that the council will continue liaising with its suppliers in order to carry out further checks.”