A Shropshire butcher has reassured families that there will be no shortage of the traditional ‘pigs in blankets’ on sale at its store in the run-up to Christmas.
G.N. Badley & Sons, based in Telford, was responding to reports from the British Meat Processors Association that a fall-off in EU migrant workers was threatening the mass production of many festive favourites, including bacon-wrapped sausages.
Simon Badley, managing director of the family-run butcher at Gibbons Road, Trench, said: “All of our pigs-in-blankets are hand-made, and produced by our own in-house team, using locally-sourced produce.
“We can reassure customers that it will be business as usual at G.N. Badley & Sons this year, and there will be certainly not be a pigs-in-blankets shortage here.”
The British Meat Processors Association claimed the shortage of migrant workers in the UK was impacting on the amount of festive food, including pigs-in-blankets and cocktail sausages which are difficult to mechanise.
Nick Allen, chief executive of the BMPA, said many food producers were seeing a shortage of staff as EU nationals responded to the drop in the value of the pound, and uncertainty about their long-term future in the UK.
Mr Badley said: “This is where a traditional high street butcher will always have the advantage over the big superstores, because we don’t rely on hugely mechanised processes, or a need for seasonal migrant labour.
“We have loyal suppliers, and a hard-working core team in our shop who are geared up for the busy run-up to Christmas, as usual.”
G.N. Badley & Sons has been supplying national award-winning meat from its base at Gibbons Road since 1976.
Mr Badley said: “As far as we are concerned, this scare story about pigs-in-blankets should simply serve as a reminder of why people should use their traditional high street butcher.
“We try to go the extra mile and give people the knowledge that the meat they buy will have been properly hung, come from a traceable provenance, and been cut to order. It’s all about a personal service.
“Our turkeys, chickens and geese come from Shrewsbury, while beef and pork are sourced from various farms across Shropshire and Staffordshire. We are proud to support local farmers, and to make our products in-house.”
Mr Badley is the third generation of his family to run the business, which was founded by his grandfather Gordon.
He added: “Knowing where your meat comes from is more important to people than ever, and local butchers have the sort of in-depth knowledge about meat that you won’t find anywhere else.
“A proper butcher can say exactly where their meat has originated from, because they probably unloaded the lorry carrying it. We know how every single muscle on an animal works, and how best to prepare it for sale.”