In our fast-paced modern world where everything seems to be about speed and convenience, supermarket shopping is the easy answer to the weekly food shop. The local supermarket is easy to access and seemingly offers everything – but are we in a rut when it comes to our shopping habits, and does the supermarket really offer the finest quality and best value produce?
If you rely on your nearest supermarket for the family food shop every week, you’re probably not getting the best quality produce available. This is especially true of meat, which is often fresher, of a higher nutritional value and of a superior grade when sourced from independent shops and farms.
In this guide, we outline the best places to find locally sourced British meat outside of the supermarket, so you can eat better quality produce, make more ethical purchases and boost the local economy by supporting UK farmers.
Why ditch supermarket meat?
Since the horse meat scandal of 2013 and a number of other cases of counterfeit, mislabelled produce, and spurious branding exercises, supermarkets have been making an effort to regain the trust of consumers and are steadily working to improve the provenance of meat as well as animal welfare standards.
The problem is, this is not enough when we compare their efforts to our local farmer’s markets or butchers, who prioritise high ethical standards, traceability and the provision of locally sourced produce. Supermarkets are also consistently in a price war with one another, trying to gain our custom by promising cheaper food that ultimately comes at a cost to farmers and farm animals alike.
Buying meat from more responsible suppliers means supporting British farming and agriculture, reducing your carbon footprint, aiding animal welfare efforts and sourcing much healthier and better quality cuts of beef, pork, lamb and chicken. UK farming boasts some of the best farm assurance standards in the world, and by stepping away from the supermarket aisles you can find a much wider range of locally sourced and premium quality produce. Here’s where to look:
- Your local butcher
Good quality meat is worth the extra few pennies, and what better place is there to start than with your local butcher? Unlike in supermarkets, quality, traceability and an ethical supply chain are considered of utmost importance to many butchers, who make sourcing the finest cuts of meat their top priority.
Butchers typically source local meat and will also have a wider variety of cuts available than the average supermarket. Many local butcher’s shops are family businesses that have been passed down through the generations, which means they can offer unrivalled expertise.
- Visit your local farmer’s market
The UK has hundreds of farmer’s markets throughout the country, so there’s bound to be one local to you. Visit for yourself to purchase premium quality meat directly from the farmers who raised it, and get to know your local suppliers in order to better connect with your food. Showing consistent support to local farmers at market events is an ethical decision, supports the economy and also means you’re more likely to be offered a good deal on the produce you really want.
- Get your meat delivered
If supermarket shopping seems too convenient to give up, why not go one step further and get your meat delivered to your door? Meat boxes are a fantastic alternative to supermarket produce, offering the finest quality cuts of British-reared meat.
UK meat box suppliers such as The Dorset Meat Company focus on grass-fed farming techniques to ensure the best in animal welfare and to provide you with the most nutritious, vitamin and mineral rich meat. Choosing this trusted British business guarantees that the meat you buy is 100% grass-fed, outdoor-reared and sustainably produced.