'We're winning the battle' says farmers' champion
A farmers' champion is winning a long-running battle against supermarket giants as he strives to sell the finest quality local produce.
Mark Gribble, a tenth generation Devonian, has struggled for years against low supermarket prices, felt the effects of ever-rising parking charges in his town centre, and been hampered by red tape and legislation.
But his commitment to local farmers and suppliers is reaping rewards now as the horsemeat scare rejuvenates business at his shops in Ivybridge, Plympton & Occombe.
Mr Gribble is another backer of the Western Morning News Buy Local campaign, reinvigorated in the past few weeks to celebrate the best of regional food. He said: "The horsemeat scandal appears to have woken people up to the reality of low food prices."
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Mr Gribble claims supermarkets had such a monopoly over the industry that they and not the farmers could control the supply of meat.
He explained: "While the pound-per-kilogram may appear greater to the farmer, the supermarkets can cut off 20-30kg more from each carcass than the butcher's abattoir, meaning they are actually paying less or the same in real terms."
He added: "Pack prices can be misleading as the product in the pack is not always comparable to the quality the butcher is selling. If you want top quality trusted meat, go to your local butcher where you will generally pay a fair price for the quality of the meat you receive."