British farmers stand to gain from the bird flu outbreak as shoppers look for local meat in local butchers, according to senior figures in the poultry industry.

Sales at butchers and wholesalers have been unaffected by the media frenzy around Bernard Matthews' Holton plant. However, the multiples have suffered a 10% decline in poultry sales and, according to Nielsen, turkey sales have slumped 30%.

David Manley, head of sales and marketing at wholesale supplier Crown Chicken, said shoppers were turning away from anonymous supermarket chicken, in favour of butchers.

"The consumer has assumed what they were buying was British, even if it wasn't. All of a sudden they're looking at what's on the label. It's good for us as a British producer," he said.

Charles Bourns at British Chicken Marketing added it was proof consumers were beginning to ask where their food was coming from, and reject imported product.

He called on retailers and the government to play their part by ensuring biosecurity was maintained around imported food.

"As British farmers, we're told we have to create a quality brand to compete in the world," he said. "But if we keep importing diseases it devalues our brand. The supermarkets need to ask themselves if, for a few pounds saved by sourcing abroad, they risk losing their customers' confidence."

However, Marks and Spencer, which sells only fresh chicken sourced in the UK, said it would carry on sourcing cooked chicken from abroad, including a small amount from Brazil.

"As a 100% own brand we have complete control of our supply chain and can ensure suppliers work to our strict standards," said a spokeswoman.

Norman Bagley at the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers said it was too early to know whether people were turning to British products.

"Logically it's reasonable to assume that," Bagley said. "But so far there has been no measurable reaction one way or the other."