Guide to Buying Quality Meat Online

It’s not everyone’s choice, but we can’t get away from the fact that online shopping is here to stay; and more and more products are now available to purchase at the click of a button from the comfort of your own home.  Over recent years, many food items are also available via the internet and that includes a huge choice of meat products.  But how can you be sure that the meat you are buying online is of good quality?

At Hugh Phillips Gower Butchers, we have been selling meat for the past three years through our online shop:  We despatch exactly the same products that we sell in our stall at Swansea Market to customers all over the UK.

Woolcool Insulated Packaging

These products are packaged and despatched in Woolcool, a multi award winning insulated packaging that is more eco-friendly than conventionally insulated packaging such as polystyrene as it is entirely biodegradable.  Importantly, its insulation properties are also more effective as Woolcool keeps chilled contents consistently colder for longer than polystyrene and with much fewer ice sheets.

Woolcool also cushions contents and protects against damage in transit whilst the wool insulation naturally absorbs moisture which prevents condensation and humidity. The fleece is washed and scoured without the use of harmful chemicals or additives, then felted and hygienically sealed within recyclable, food grade film. The boxes can be easily re-used and recycled.

Questions About Buying Online

Shopping for meat online can be a daunting experience if you haven’t done so before. The questions we are often asked are how will my meat be transported? Is it safe to buy meat online? Where does online meat come from? Will my meat be chilled during transport? There are lots of questions that run through our customers mind, before buying their meat online.

Our advice to customers is to check with the online supplier how the meat will be despatched and in what packaging.  As mentioned, we have opted for Woolcool as it guarantees better temperature control, has a protective cushioning for transit, creates natural insulation through the use of lambswool and will  keep produce cold for 2 days.

Recognising a Good Online Butcher

You should start by a visual assessment of the products offered on the company’s website. Look at how the products are presented, are they using stock photos, or have they taken photos of the actual meat they sell?  You should also check the place of origin of the meat to ensure it is local.

Quality online butcher’s will have PGI status for their products which assures customers that the meat products have been thoroughly checked to ensure they are every bit as local as they say it is. PGI status also gives consumers the confidence of knowing exactly what they are buying and where it comes from.

You should also be able to get in touch with them easily by phone or email so they can answer any questions you may have directly.

Online Butcher Check List

Beyond what you can see on their website, there are three essential factors when it comes to finding a quality and reliable online butcher: service, knowledge and experience.   Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to ascertain whether an online butcher possesses these qualities but to help you make the right decision, we’ve come up with this checklist:

  • Meat Photography – they don’t use generic stock photography but showcase their own products clearly
  • Provenance – they know where the meat comes from and the products have PGI status
  • Cut to order – all the meat is cut after the order is placed, not pre-packed
  • Fresh Meat – products are provided fresh NOT frozen
  • Delivery – they offer timed delivery slots, to ensure freshness and convenience
  • Chilled packaging – packaging is tested and verified to keep the meat chilled in transport
  • Feedback – they have good customer reviews

These seven points are not exhaustive, and we appreciate that with the number of butchers online popping up all over the place, the whole process of buying meat online can be daunting.

Best Online Butcher

We believe at Hugh Phillips Gower Butcher that our online shop reflects the quality and knowledge five generations of experienced butchers bring to the business.  We also have our own abattoir and slaughterhouse so we can not only guarantee the provenance of our animals, but you are also assured of the best practices when it comes to slaughtering and butchery, with the animals travelling the least amount of miles possible.

However, the proof is in the product.  So we’d encourage you to order some of our meat from our online shop and let us know what you think.

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