Even more shoppers are turning to local butchers
Butchers have renewed calls for people to purchase their food from local businesses amid waning trust in supermarket suppliers.
Owners of businesses backing the Western Morning News Buy Local initiative declared there had "never been a better time" to commit to eating meat only from trusted sources.
They promised all their products could be traced back to suppliers in Devon and Cornwall, including traditional abattoirs and dairies.
Disillusioned supermarket customers who have lost confidence in the origins of what they are being sold over the counter are returning to local suppliers in droves.
Moostone Meats in Wembury, near Plymouth, is one of a number of local suppliers priding itself on quality and traceability of meats.
Co-owner Tim Jakins said: "Budgets have tightened with the times but there is no excuse for selling sub-standard products. Most people will be horrified that they have been eating horsemeat in any form.
"We keep affordability in mind at all times but are entirely committed to ensuring only the best meat is sold from the farm."
Richard Dunning, of Oinkers in Longdown near Exeter, said there had been a "steady increase" in trade during recent weeks at his 21-year-old business.
He said: "The supermarkets have consistently pushed down prices for Value products and in the end something had to give.
"A lot of people in the trade aren't surprised by the horsemeat scandal. It could possibly have been around a lot longer than most people think."
The Food Standards Agency yesterday said it had found another 35 positive tests for horsemeat in beef products.
Philippa Lang, of Dartmoor Butchers in Ashburton, established in 1940, said: "Buying local keeps money in the local economy whilst supporting family businesses."
Mark Humphries, of Voisins butchers in Plymouth, said: "Everything is locally-sourced from Devon and Cornwall. That has kept us turning over and now we are picking-up many more customers."
His sales have gone up 10% in the past few weeks, and in the first weekend after the horsemeat scandal started they rocketed by a third.
John Searle, of Shapland & Searle in South Molton, said: "Business is definitely picking up. We can guarantee traceability. You can be sure your meat is coming straight from the farmer."
Yesterday farming leaders led calls for a change in the traceability of horses after a survey revealed 3,000 farmers had fallen victim to "fly-grazing" last summer, when equines were left to illegally graze on private land.
Richard Haddock, a farmer and the Federation of Small Businesses' Devon rural affairs spokesman, said it was "far better" to buy local.
He said: "The horsemeat scandal may prove to be good for independent butchers because customers can trust the meat we produce and sell.
"The farming sector in the UK has the highest traceability in Europe. The independent butcher is heavily regulated and we know exactly where our meat comes from because it can be traced back to the local farmer".