Suffolk store’s film aims to change meat buying habits

Mark Thomas , owner of Emmett's in Peasenhall Pictuee: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mark Thomas , owner of Emmett's in Peasenhall Pictuee: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

One of the country’s oldest shops is backing a campaign to promote the benefits of buying high quality and ethically produced meat.

Emmett’s in Peasenhall is reputed to be the UK’s oldest artisan ham and bacon producer, established in 1820.

All its pork is sourced locally and is free range – and owner Mark Thomas has taken part in a promotional video for the Farms Not Factories campaign, highlighting the benefits of buying high welfare meat and how he has encouraged customers to only buy local.

He also speaks about how the shop has been faring during the panedemic – during which his cafe had to shut and shop customers were greatly reduced.

Mr Thomas said: “The impact has actually been very good on the business, in that we have seen many news customers, people have been very understanding and supportive.

“We still have to do a lot of mail orders, and online, people who need to give gifts, people who have been buying for themselves.

“Some people have been doing a zoom party. We actually had one gentleman who bought 16 food parcels sent to individual people all feasting on Emmett’s products.

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“More people are choosing to shop locally from high quality and ethical sources. People are taking more of an interest in where their food comes from and how it’s produced.

“I hope people will remember my store as normal life returns and will continue to buy from small scale high quality producers, rather than returning to buying low quality produce that may appear cheaper but cost in other ways.”

Campaigning against factory pig farms for over 15 years, Farms Not Factories uses video for public screenings and social media to show the differences between factory pig farming and high welfare and ethically produced pork and urging customers to change their shopping habits.

During the coronavirus lockdown, the group asked small-scale pig farmers and pork producers to film themselves explaining how their businesses are faring and how they have adapted their sales strategies to cope with the impacts of the pandemic.

Tracy Worcester, leader of the campaign group, said: “Thankfully most are doing well as the lockdown has meant that more people are shopping locally from farmers they trust.”

Watch Emmett’s Store’s video here