A rush of gold for Welsh butcher Peter Rushforth

A young butcher from north-east Wales has struck gold for the second time this month, reaching the top spot at the national Worldskills UK competition.

Peter Rushforth from Swan’s Farm Shop near Mold battled it out against five other finalists from across the country to win the butchery category at The Skills Show, the nation’s largest skills and careers event, held at the NEC in Birmingham.

Sponsored by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), the category focuses on all the essential skills required for a successful career as a multi-skilled, disciplined butcher. It is a gruelling test of a butcher’s skills, innovation, creativity, presentation and work ethic, amongst other essential qualities.

In the final, Peter successfully completed five tough tasks which were carried out and judged over two days in front of a live audience.

Peter is certainly no stranger to success. In the summer, the award-winning, ambitious butcher received a HCC Scholarship to travel to the USA to find out how their red meat sector copes with the country’s demand. He will also investigate how meat is processed in large volumes and how the forequarter is butchered to add value. 

Most recently, he was crowned Young Butcher of the Year at the Butcher’s Shop of the Year Awards in London. He was also HCC’s Welsh Young Butcher Champion in 2014 and 2015.

“I was so chuffed to win, it was a very close competition,” said Peter. “I feel privileged to have received so much success in recent months, from receiving the HCC Scholarship to winning the Young Butcher of the Year award and the Worldskills competition, it has been a very special year.”

“What a fantastic achievement,” said HCC’s Market Development Officer, Melanie Cargill. “We must congratulate Peter on his success at The Skills Show and for beating off the opposition with confidence and style. 

“HCC was also very pleased to support the butchery competition which took place for the first time last year and has been won by two Welsh butchers and members of our Butchers’ Club.”  

WorldSkills UK National Skills competitions are designed to equip young people with the right skills to help UK businesses compete on a global platform. Arranged by Welshpool-based training provider Cambrian Training Company, the butchery contest is one of more than 50 skills to feature in the competition.

Last year, the first place was awarded to Matthew Edwards of Vaughan’s Family Butchers, Penyffordd near Chester.