BUTCHERS across South West Wales have said the discovery of horse meat in supermarket burgers has raised an issue of trust between traders and consumers.
Tesco, Aldi, Lidl and Iceland were all found to have sold beef burgers which contained horse DNA.
All four chains have now removed the products from their shelves following an investigation by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) which found beef products tested contained horse DNA.
Butcher Clinton Roberts has been involved in the industry as an independent butcher for more than 40 years and runs his own business in Pontardawe.
The 55-year-old said: “It is shocking to know.
“Supermarkets have a massive customer base which trust them.
“People trust where they buy anything especially food. You have to trust your butcher.
“At the end of the day they (the supermarkets) are the ones making the contact with the customer.
“Our beef burgers are 100 per cent beef and nothing else.
“Our meat comes from an abattoir in Cross Hands and all our meat is under 30 months old which is the industry standard for quality.”
Mr Roberts said it is a myth to suggest supermarkets are cheaper than independent butchers.
Ammanford butcher Martin Jones has run his business in the town for nine years and said: “How was this (the sale of beef burgers containing horse meat) allowed to happen?
“If I had done it or, if any other independents had done it, I would be closed down for six months for an investigation.
“It will be interesting to find out what will happen to them.”
Port Talbot butcher Mandy Davies said the issue of horse meat in beef burgers was a big cause for concern.
Mrs Davies has run her own business in the area for 14 years and said: “What you find these days is supermarkets want every type of high street business going and slowly these businesses are going by the wayside.
“It just goes to show you have multi-million pound companies advertising constantly and it is not everything that it appears to be.
“We won’t be the cheapest but you can certainly buy with confidence.”