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Butcher takes on supermarkets to preserve his business 

Kieran Bell

A butcher is taking on the power of supermarkets in an effort to save his industry.

Mark Lowe runs the traditional butcher Millard and Lowe at Hare Hatch Sheeplands near Twyford, and says trade has ‘been going through the roof’ since he started the business there four weeks ago.

Mr Lowe, from Baydon in Wiltshire, is worried that supermarkets are damaging the future of novel butchers through their use of cheaper, pre-prepared meat.

He claims that smaller shops are closing at a ‘rate of one a day’.

To combat this, his new project aims to offer customers a ‘bespoke’ service and rival those chains.

Mark said: “You can go to a massive place now and get everything under that roof. But they are not even proper butchers, everything is pre-prepared.

“If supermarkets are selling a million lamb chops, they can afford to spend £1 a kilo.

“A lot of people will agree with this: it is supermarkets and people’s habits.

“We do things from scratch. We have whole pigs, whole lambs – you can offer a personal and bespoke service.

“Our trade is up by 30 per cent from week one to week three. It has gone through the roof.

“This is my fourth week now, but I have been a butcher for 37 years. Going into the fourth, it is nothing short of amazing.”

Mark got into the trade after leaving school as a 17-year-old without any qualifications.

“I found a job as a trainee in a butcher’s shop in the Midlands, where I lived at the time, and everything started from there,” he said.

He has won Good Taste awards for his home-made pork pies and home cured bacon, both of which will be offered to Sheeplands customers as well as a wide range of fresh meats.

Mark is realistic that the task will not be completed in a hurry.

He said: “It will not happen overnight. But once people know about us they will support what we are doing.”

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