HONESTY, the pantomime horse made an appearance at Dorchester’s Farmers’ Market on Saturday - and was thrilled to be the only horse at the market.
It was the idea of Nik Ralph, chairman of Dorset Farmers’ Markets - a bit of fun but with a strong message - in the wake of the horse meat scandal, as local farmers and butchers across the county are enjoying a boost in trade.
“Dorset Farmers Markets wanted to highlight that all the produce sold in our markets is locally sourced and labelled honestly and correctly,” said Nik.
Local meat producers say shoppers are turning to them because they’re realising the importance of traceability following the discovery of horse in processed meat from several large outlets.
Clive Sage of Wyld Meadow Farm in Monkton Wyld, near Bridport, produces and sells lamb and beef. Speaking at Dorchester Farmers’ Market on Saturday, he said: “Their dishonesty has helped our meat sales. People just want transparency and proper labelling in what they’re selling. We can offer 100 per cent traceability at the market on the meat we produce, which is born, reared and processed on the farm.”
Pig farmer Pete Mayo from Maydown Farm in Burton Bradstock added: “We’ve seen an increase in sales. People want to know where it’s come from, how local it is and that it hasn’t travelled too far.
“(On our stall) it’s all our own pork and I hope it (this current situation) does us, and others some good. We have already sold out of all our pork joints this morning, and on a good day we sell 100 packets of sausages at market. But as I say, people just want to know that it’s local.”
Pleased with the warm welcome and response from shoppers and stallholders to Honesty’s appearance, Nik Ralph said: “Today we demonstrated that if you want to meet the person that grew and prepared the food you are eating you only need to come to your local farmers market.”