Supermarkets are encroaching on private butcheries’ business and as meat prices soar, buying power has become a necessity for butcheries to stay in the market.
Speaking at the Stockmans School in Free State, convenor Dr Michael Bradfield said farmers have increasingly started to supply supermarkets with meat to the extent that butcheries are disappearing from the landscape.
“There used to be a lot of tension between farmers and retailers, but that has disappeared because of increased collaboration between the two, to the detriment of private butcheries.”
Donovan Hayes, Pick ‘n Pay’s general manager for butcheries in Western Cape, explained that due to a changing world, few people have time to make stops at a grocer and a butcher. “You can get everything you need at a supermarket.”
He added that there have been a number of private butcheries that closed in Cape Town over the last few years, but it would not be fair to say that this is due to supermarkets having their own in-store butcheries. He said he believes that there is still a place in the market for private butcheries.
Jaco Groot, manager at award-winning Rembrandt Butchery in Johannesburg told Farmer’s Weekly that good service and the high quality of its meat has kept it in business. “We can feel the competition from the supermarkets because they have the buying power and can bring the prices down.
The increase in supermarkets with butcheries has contributed to the decline of independent butcheries. But even though we have lost some customers, most came back.” The manager of a butchery in Northern Cape, who wish to remain anonymous, said that one of the reasons private butcheries are going out of business is because meat is too expensive. “Stock theft and predation have pushed up prices.
People in rural areas can’t afford these prices and they have to sit and watch the meat going to Johannesburg where the people can afford it. “There are supermarkets around every corner, each with its own butchery, which puts further pressure on us. Our solution is to add value to our products and supply them to shops as a complete product. You have to have something better than your competition,” the manager said. – Lindi van Rooyen
Some farmers say private butcheries are going out of business because meat is too expensive.