Traditional butchers have been faced with many challenges over the years with the growth of giant supermarket chains, but recent reports have shown the “local butcher is back” with many consumers returning to independent butcher shops to make their weekly meat purchases.
Rural Australia (read article) have recently reported that Australian butchers hold 15% of the meat market, which is a 7% higher share than our American counterparts, even though America has a more developed market; and this percentage is rising.
Many Australians have grown up with favourable views of butchers. I have fond childhood memories going to weekly visits to our local butcher store with mum. Walking through the big glass doors and sawdust floor to be greeted by a man in his white coat with a big friendly smile. Mum would ask for all different types of meat. He would open his giant fridge door and happily prepare her requests in front of our eyes. I was in awe of his ninja sword carving skills and admired his patience and kindness answering my curious questions. My favourable view of our local butcher is the reason why I still purchase from my local butcher shop and it seems I’m not the only one regarding them in such high esteem.
More Australians are becoming aware of making healthy choices and value the importance of fresh produce and high quality products. Consumer obsessions with cooking shows such as Master Chef and My Kitchen Rules, has seen many Australians being more interested and educated about food then ever before.
Celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver are also boosting the butcher’s popularity, with their focus on organic food and prime cuts of meat and encouraging viewers to visit independent butchers for expert advice.
The traditional butcher has always focussed on fresh produce and the importance of quality. They love to share their knowledge about products and take pride in catering for the individual needs of the customer. Today these values have not changed, although more butchers are now specialising in gourmet lines, grass fed and free range meat and organic produce, to meet the changing needs of the industry.
So why choose your local butcher shop?
Butchers focus on helping you choose the right product for the new cook book recipe you’re trying, or the meal you watched being prepared on TV last night. You can see where your food is coming from and can watch it being prepared. Butchers also work with local farmers and support the community. They take pride in providing you with a whole shopping experience, one you will not get walking down the aisle of a supermarket.
Heath Goodwin from Mako Air has been providing local butchers refrigeration equipment for the past 12 years, we enjoy the relationships we have with butchers and believe they are an important part of our lives. Long live the local butcher.