More shoppers have been stepping into their local butcher shop again amid meat shortages in supermarkets.
Reid's Telarah Butchery and Morpeth Butchery are among the butcheries in the Maitland area who have seen an increase in customers searching for their usual meat order - and that can only mean good things for the local economy.
Luckily, both shops have managed to avoid problems in their supply chain and kept the meat flowing.
The Omicron COVID-19 variant forced many essential workers in the transport sector and those in abattoirs into isolation, which disrupted the flow of product to supermarket shelves.
Wayne Reid of Reid's Telarah Butchery said he orders meat well in advance and that trait had kept his fridges stocked.
Meanwhile, Morpeth Butchery owner David Carter said a mix of local meat and products sourced from a range of suppliers ensured his display cases were full each day.
In Telarah shoppers have been after barbecue meats - especially sausages and mince - while in Morpeth chicken products have been at the top of the list.
Mr Reid sources his beef from Maitland, Singleton and Scone; his lamb from Tamworth and his chicken from Newcastle.
"A lot have done their days in isolation and I expect we won't see that kind of trouble again. I don't like to profit at the expense of someone else but we were very busy and we always snare a few extra customers when these things happen," Mr Reid said.
"We've had no trouble with our supply and I'm confident that will continue, and I can't see a problem in the foreseeable future."
Mr Carter said hanging beef - which the shop used to make mince - had been harder to source but he still managed to find what he needed.
"We've had some issues. There were times when we couldn't get what we wanted so we got something else instead - we can get our meat from various suppliers so that spreads the risk," he said.
Mr Carter uses his own grass fed beef in the shop under the Hunter Natural brand and while he had the animals ready to go he found the abattoir in Kurri Kurri wasn't operating to its usual schedule.
"While they didn't shut down they have had limited hours and that has slowed things down a bit," he said.
"We've had to diversify a bit but we've got through it."
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