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National Butchers Week celebrates an increase in customers

Walter Smiths Butchers
Walter Smiths Butchers Credit: ITV News Central

Today is the start of National Butchers Week. It comes at a time when more people are turning to their local butcher for their meat, following the horsemeat scandal.

Walter Smiths Butchers are a Midlands based chain with 17 shops across the region.

Walter Smiths Butchers
Walter Smiths Butchers Credit: ITV News Central

They have reported, in some areas, an increase of 33% in the number of customer visiting their butchers since the horsemeat scare.

National Butchers Week also celebrates more women taking up the trade.

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Pork found in some beef samples tested by Leicestershire County Council

by Jane Hesketh
Pork has been found in some beef samples tested by Leicestershire County Council
Pork has been found in some beef samples tested by Leicestershire County Council Credit: PA

Leicestershire Trading Standards officials say they may be taking enforcement action against the suppliers of beef products that contain pork.

Leicestershire is one of 28 local authorities asked by the Food Standards Agency to make random tests on beef products in supermarkets and takeaway outlets.

Of the eight venues they visited two of the beef samples were found to contain pork.

Suleman Nagdi from the Federation of Muslim Organisations says their religion does not allow them to eat pork at all and he's calling on the government to take urgent action against the suppliers of mislabelled or contaminated meat.

Environment Secretary: "This criminal activity should be stopped"

Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson MP, has said that buying something labelled beef which ends up being horse meat is "fraud".

Speaking at the NFU conference in Birmingham, where one thousand farmers have gathered, he also told listeners "we must ensure the British public have confidence in the industry and what they're eating".

1,000 farmers attend NFU conference in Birmingham

1,000 farmers have gathered at the NFU conference in Birmingham to discuss what has been described as "a diabolical year".

Farmers across the region have been facing a whole number of problems - drought, floods, tuberculosis, HS2 running through their farms and the horse meat scandal.

They've heard how more food will have to be produced in England instead of being imported from other countries, because our population could increase by the equivalent size of "four Birmingham's" in the next eight years.

Farmers from across the Midlands have been talking to ITV News Central.

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Environment Secretary tells conference badger cull will help

Owen Paterson MP at NFU conference
Owen Paterson MP at NFU conference Credit: ITV News Central

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson today told farmers a badger cull would help prevent the spread of bovine TB:

"Bovine TB is spreading at an alarming rate and causing real devastation to our beef and dairy industry.

"The authorisation letters issued today confirming culling can proceed this summer in West Gloucestershire and West Somerset is an important step towards taking the action we need to tackle the spread of this disease in wildlife."

NFU president: 'a diabolical year for farming'

NFU president address the NFU conference in Birmingham
NFU president address the NFU conference in Birmingham Credit: ITV News Central

Peter Kendall, the NFU president is addressing farmers from across the UK at the anual National Farmers Union conference at Birmingham's ICC this morning. He says it has been a 'diabolical year' for farming.

Mr Kendall says Britain needs greater self sufficiency in food production and that England's population will have to grow by more than four million people within eight years. He said:

"That's more than four Birmingham's worth of extra mouths to feed."

Farmers have come to Birmingham for the conference to discuss issue that have affected them in the past year.

The recent horsemeat scandal is high on the agenda as well as prices of animal feed and the recent bad weather affecting crop.

NFU president Peter Kendall
NFU president Peter Kendall Credit: ITV News Central
West Midlands farmers at the NFU conference in Birmingham
West Midlands farmers at the NFU conference in Birmingham Credit: ITV News Central
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NFU: Consumers want more British meat

More than three-quarters of consumers wants supermarkets to stock more food from British farms, according to a National Farmers' Union survey:

  • 78% said supermarkets should sell more food from British farms
  • 43% said they were more likely to buy traceable food from farms in Britain following the horsemeat scandal

A thousand people were polled by the union.

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