In addition, they accounted for one in every nine jobs outside of the retail multiples, a report for the levy body has claimed.
The study, conducted by Trends Business Research (TBR) and due to be published later this month, indicated that one in every 400 firms in England is an independent butcher.
As the industry gears up for National Butchers’ Week 2016, there were 5,240 such businesses in England in 2014 – or 8.4% of all food and drink businesses – employing 26,140 people, or 2% of workers in the industry, the report revealed. That’s 2.2% of all retail firms and 1% of retail employment.
The analysis followed last year’s ‘Securing the future of our independent butchers’ sector report from AHDB Beef & Lamb. That research stressed that the sector was best-placed to capitalise on a resurgence in public interest in culinary pursuits, despite losing a generation through lack of training opportunities. The industry should keep growing as consumers become more attuned to local sourcing and provenance, helped through programmes like the Quality Standard Mark (QSM) for beef and lamb, the study argued.
“This new publication underlines the significant role independent butchers play in contributing to employment and the economy in general,” said Laura Ryan, strategy director for AHDB Beef & Lamb. “It points towards an incredibly positive outlook for independents. As such, we will continue to work with the sector to help it build on these solid foundations.”