Butchers battle to be the best! Do you have what it takes to be crowned HCC’s Butcher of the Year?

Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) is launching an exclusive competition for members of its Butchers’ Club with a meat cutting contest during the Royal Welsh Show.

Two successful applicants will be selected to compete for the top spot, by showcasing their brilliant butchery skills and product innovation to create a Royal Welsh Show-stopping retail display using Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef.

The winner will be awarded the HCC Butchers’ Club – Butcher of the Year title trophy, a three course meal for two at one of HCC’s Welsh Lamb Club restaurants as well as access to exclusive promotional activity.

“The competition is open to owners, managers and butchers of any business that is a member of HCC’s Butchers’ Club,” explained Melanie Cargill, HCC’s UK Market Development Officer. “For the application process, butchers are required to explain why they should be crowned HCC’s Butcher of the Year and outline how they maximise sales. 

“HCC’s Butchers’ Club consists of extremely talented butchers with superior skills and innovative ideas, and we are keen to recognise their capabilities and award them for their abilities. We look forward to receiving the applications before the closing date – 1 July 2016 - and to hosting a heated contest on the HCC stand at the Royal Welsh Show.” 

A young member of HCC’s Butchers’ Club recently tasted success in the Welsh heat of the WorldSkills butchery competition. Peter Rushforth from Swans Farm Shop in Mold was the highest scoring Welsh butcher after completing two challenges which saw the butchers tasked with seaming a full topside of beef in 45 minutes and produce a barbecue display in an hour-and-a-half.

Industry consultant Viv Harvey, who was also a judge, praised the contestants for their high level of ability and said that the standard of the competition gets better and better every year. “It was a very good judging session,” he said. “They were very, very close. A good range of quality skills was demonstrated and, as far as the judges go, we had a challenge on our hands.

“Normally you will get a competition where you will get a weaker one who stands out right from the beginning, but this time it was very, very close and, at the end of the competition, it actually came down to weighing the product to see about uniformity and portion control.”

The six highest-scoring competitors across three Worldskills heats (Wales, Northern Ireland and England) will go head to head in the WorldSkills final, which is sponsored by HCC. It will take place at the NEC in Birmingham from 17-19 November 2016.