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Butchers' Shops and British Society Watch

  • View Poll Results: Do you think local butchers' shops are a valuable part of British society?
    Yes
    71.43%
    No
    28.57%
    I'm not sure/don't know
    0
    0%

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    To me, butchers' shops are part of the fabric of British society, so I find their decline (and replacement by supermarkets) saddening.

    There were over 9000 local butchers' shops in 2000, but as of 2010 only 6500 remained.

    In addition, statistics from the ONS show that the British public is increasingly eating fewer sausages and more healthier meat such as chicken and beef: there was a 25% drop in sausage sales from 2008-2015, whilst sales of beef increased from £1 billion to £3 billion.

    Sources:


    My questions are: (i) do you agree that local butchers' shops are a valuable part of British society, and (ii) what can be done to boost local community bonds and, thus, support local butchers'?
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    (i)

    I'm finding it difficult to find a very good butchers in my current city. I agree. I also like the other traditional shops; a barbers where you can get a proper cut throat shave, local shoemakers./cobblers, greengrocers etc.

    (ii) I'm not sure.
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    (Original post by hezzlington)
    (i)

    I'm finding it difficult to find a very good butchers in my current city. I agree. I also like the other traditional shops; a barbers where you can get a proper cut throat shave, local shoemakers./cobblers, greengrocers etc.

    (ii) I'm not sure.
    I completely agree, these kind of shops are the glue that keep local community bonds strong. Call me old-fashioned but I'd rather give my local vegetable market and butchers' my custom and speak to the same people every week, than visit large supermarkets where nobody knows or cares about anyone.

    I get that for many people on a budget supermarkets are often just cheaper, but the decline of these local shops is a real loss to British society and another step on our way to a dehumanised and soulless Britain.
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    I find the supermarkets more convenient and cheaper.
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    There needs to be a "market union" to protect these small businesses from supermarkets.
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    Can I just add that from my experience I've found in some places - some areas in London especially for example - there is an increasing number of 'ethnic' butcher shops which I think is a fantastic evolution of the classical butcher shop.
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    (Original post by Palmyra)
    My questions are: (i) do you agree that local butchers' shops are a valuable part of British society, and (ii) what can be done to boost local community bonds and, thus, support local butchers'?
    Spoiler:
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    I think "British society" is constantly evolving all the time to adapt to whatever the needs of the people happen to be at the time. It's not a fixed thing whereby some things are quintessentially British and some things aren't, and that's the way it'll always be.

    In 30 years time new generations will probably think supermarkets are a valuable part of British society and lament the fact that they're being replaced by whatever becomes the norm then.

    The idea of strengthening local community bonds seems more appropriate in a place with a low population, where you're coming across the same few people every day, as opposed to a densely populated city where there are millions of people, and you have hordes of friends to form bonds with rather than worrying about chatting to your butcher.
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    There used to be a greengrocers near my uni in the UK but it closed down due to competition from a huge Tesco a stone's throw away. The greengrocer was much cheaper for fruit and veg and it always tasted fresher, kept longer, and there was even a better selection.
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    I'm not especially concerned about specifically butchers but am dismayed at the decline of the local parade of shops, the greengrocer, the bakery, the post office. Cash for Gold and Vapes4U aren't for me the social glue of the village, though that is most of it huffed on the rec.
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    (Original post by cambio wechsel)
    I'm not especially concerned about specifically butchers but am dismayed at the decline of the local parade of shops, the greengrocer, the bakery, the post office. Cash for Gold and Vapes4U aren't for me the social glue of the village, though that is most of it huffed on the rec.
    Loss of greengrocers and other local facilities and the impact of the concentration of retailers in a few hands concerns me too.
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    (Original post by tazarooni89)
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    I think "British society" is constantly evolving all the time to adapt to whatever the needs of the people happen to be at the time. It's not a fixed thing whereby some things are quintessentially British and some things aren't, and that's the way it'll always be.

    In 30 years time new generations will probably think supermarkets are a valuable part of British society and lament the fact that they're being replaced by whatever becomes the norm then.

    The idea of strengthening local community bonds seems more appropriate in a place with a low population, where you're coming across the same few people every day, as opposed to a densely populated city where there are millions of people, and you have hordes of friends to form bonds with rather than worrying about chatting to your butcher.
    I think there will be a facility to shop entirely online, in a much more fluid way than is currently available. Perhaps gamification of the current shopping experience?

    The issue I have, is that with a good quality butchers, your meat is traceable and usually much higher quality. It supports local farmers and the taste is noticeably different than your vacuum packed 'sirloin steaks'. The butcher will also happily dice/slice/cut your meat if you so wish. It's a much more tailored experience. If you're into cooking, you can also acquire bones and marrow, or harder to source cuts of meat that would otherwise cost a fortune at your local Waitrose.

    Retailers understand the nostalgia we have for local produce. Tescos recently introduced their imaginary 'Ashfield Farm' brand or whatever it was to cater towards this. Asda had their 'Butchers Selection' range as well. Similar/same quality, different packaging, higher price.
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    I've often found it difficult to find a good butchers, but I do very much value them. It was fine at university as well, when you could wander in when you liked - but when you're working and the place is open 9-5 during the week and for a short burst on Saturday morning, actually hauling yourself out of bed to get there can be a struggle.

    It's the standard complaint I suppose: I value small local shops, yet given the option I'll still spend quite a lot of money in supermarkets because they're more convenient to get to, are open longer and so on. If I still lived in a village, it might be different.
 
 
 
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