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Young butchers battle it out at the Winter Fair

Dec 5 2014

Apprentice butcher, Peter Rushford was crowned winner of the ‘Welsh Young Butcher of the Year’ competition held at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair.

Co-sponsored by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), the annual battle between Wales’ budding butchers took place at the Carcass Hall where the contestants demonstrated their knowledge and knife and presentation skills in front of an enthusiastic audience.

The victorious winner works at the award winning Swans Farm Shop at Treuddyn, near Mold and is a member of HCC’s Butchers’ Club.

Clive Swan, owner of Swans Farm Shop, said: “We are delighted at Peter’s win! He has shown a natural talent for butchery but also commits 100% to the profession.

“Peter joined us on a school work experience placement when he was in year 10, by the end of the week he was showing real interest in us and our business and we were able to offer him a Saturday job. When Peter completed his A Levels last year we offered him an apprenticeship, which he started in September 2013. 

“Peter winning Welsh Young Butcher of the Year is an amazing achievement for him and our Farm Shop. He has shown drive, imagination and is fantastic with the customers, he has settled in well and works brilliantly within the team.”

The young butcher will compete in Paris next year as part of the British team. He is also a successful member of his local young farmers club, and represented Clwyd in stock judging at the Winter Fair.

The judges were impressed with Peter’s efforts whose tasks included butchering a brisket of Welsh Beef and a full saddle of Welsh Lamb into cuts that would add value and saleability.

His winning display included Welsh Lamb Patties which were cooked and sampled on HCC’s stand during the Winter Fair.

“Today’s consumers are moving away from high-effort, time consuming meals and moving towards dish-based, modern cuisine,” said Melanie Hughes, HCC’s Market Development Officer.

“It is important, therefore, that butchers are able to respond to this behavioural change and add value to their product range in order to attract new and existing customers.

“Peter skilfully prepared a variety of creative cuts to create a marvellous display for the judges. I would like to congratulate him on his success and wish him well in his career as a butcher.”

The competition is organised by training provider, Cambrian Training. To enter, competitors must have been 23 or under on 1st January and work within Wales. From the entries received, four finalists were selected to compete against each other during the Winter Fair.

HCC’s Butchers’ Club has over 225 members. They have been verified by HCC to ensure that the red meat they sell is sourced from suppliers who are independently certified to sell PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef. It also means that consumers can be confident that they are purchasing a fully traceable, quality product.

A list of members can be found here: http://www.eatwelshlamb.co.uk/butchers/search-results?sc_lang=en

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