INDEPENDENT butchers have seen a huge increase in business since the horsemeat scandal, says North Petherton butcher Malcolm Pyne.

Mr Pyne's burgers had just won four gold medals at the National Federation of Meat Traders' South of England burger competition in Somerset, where he said the competition was stiffer than ever.

He said: “Right after the horsemeat scandal broke last year our burger sales went through the roof because people were turning away from supermarkets to independent butchers they felt they could trust.

“Our experience was repeated right across the independent sector and what is happening now is that the trade is responding to a continuing public demand for good-quality burgers made with traceable ingredients. It's fair to say that the quality of burgers sold in most butchers shop is now the highest it's ever been.”