Village Butcher

FTLComm - Arborfield - November 18, 1999
In the nineteen fifties every village had a meat market and locker plant. These butcher shops had a trained meat cutter and retailed beef, pork and poultry in their shops and did custom work. Farmers brought their animals to the shops abattoir for animals to be slaughtered and processed and those of us with out farms would buy our meat from the butcher by the quarter or half and it would be cut up and packaged for us and put in a locker in his frozen storage facility where we rented space.

In the sixties people began to buy home freezers and the locker plants began closing. The development of supermarket types of food stores in the larger communities lead to them employing their own meat cutters and because of efficiency and market conditions the small butcher shop hung on through the seventies but by the eighties few were still in business.

But to every rule there are exceptions and here in Arborfield a village butcher shop is still providing the services that butchers have always done. In this picture we see the side of the Arborfield butcher shop and the meat cutter is turning a former steer into two sides of beef, using a chain saw.

The massive factory meat processing plants have made one and two man meat processing shops inefficient and even the large plants here in Saskatchewan have had a hard time making a go of it because the large meat packing companies have consolidated their processing plants into truly gargantuan operations. The prices you see in your meat section of your stores are price driven and the competitive process has made custom meat cutting shops difficult to run.

However, it is great to see that a community still has the service and Arborfield and the surrounding area obviously are patronising this business otherwise it would no longer exist.