FARM shops and butchers are enjoying a bumper trade during the coronavirus pandemic with one Worcester butcher saying 'it's like Christmas without the turkeys'.

Covid-19 has changed the way we shop with some customers forsaking the supermarket in favour of independent butchers and farm shops, say Worcester traders. Peter Turner, manager of the Fruit Shack at St Peter's Garden Centre in Worcester, said: "It's massive - we're doing five times our daily trade."

Top Barn Farm Shop in Holt Heath, near Worcester, has also seen a large increase in trade as customers make use of their phone and collect service with last month being particularly strong and April continuing well above typical levels.

Ian Narraway, owner of Narraway's Family Butchers in St John's, said the pandemic had resulted in a massive rise in trade - he estimated the rise to be about 35 to 40 per cent up on normal during the first 12 days of lockdown as people fell back on local independents to stock up.

He said: "That first week was massive - it was like Christmas without the turkeys. It's tailed off a little bit now."

Mr Narraway, now in his 43rd year of trading, hopes that after the pandemic he can hang onto some of the extra trade he has been able to pick up, keeping it at around 10 to 15 per cent above what it usually is.

He was able to keep well-stocked using local suppliers and said he had eggs when the supermarkets were running out.

One of his main concerns was the welfare of his staff and the family butcher described it as a 'massive bonus' that they had all managed to stay healthy during the outbreak. Only two people are allowed in the shop at any one time to reduce the risk. Deliveries have 'taken off' with 100 in just three to four days. H. Dayus Family Butchers in St John's closed the shop to discourage people from going out and about but have seen a large rise in demand for deliveries. Butcher Tristan Meier said they were already running deliveries six days a week and were now considering extending this to Sunday because of the rise in demand. They have even been considering hiring another driver although, with three butchers, there is a limit to how much meat they can prepare.

Mr Meier said: "We have always had a good trade and a pretty large Facebook and Instagram following."