While the Lions have been preparing to take on rugby’s giants the New Zealand All Blacks, some of Britain and Ireland’s best butchers have also been hard at work, competing for places at the final of the prestigious Worldskills UK butchery competition.
Competitors from across the four nations have come together and been set a range of butchery challenges at heats in Perth, Leeds, Newry and the Cambrian Training Centre of Excellence in Welshpool. The six highest scoring butchers from the heats will proceed to the final in Birmingham’s NEC in October.
And the best butchers have been sure to work with the best ingredients, as Welsh levy body Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) has partnered with the contest’s organisers to ensure that a shoulder of PGI Welsh Lamb formed part of the challenge for every competitor across all the heats.
“We’re proud to continue our involvement with the Worldskills UK butchery competition, by this year sponsoring and sourcing the PGI Welsh Lamb for all the heats,” said Kirstie Jones, HCC’s Market Development Officer.
Kirstie added, “HCC is committed to supporting the butchering and processing sector which is so vital to our industry. As well as backing high-street butchery businesses through our PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef Butchers’ Club, we support training and excellence within the sector.”
“Young Welsh butchers are on a roll in the prestigious Worldskills events,” explained Kirstie. “The past two years Matthew Edwards and Peter Rushforth – who both hail from the Wrexham area – have walked away with the top prize at the grand final, and have since built promising careers in the industry and been involved in HCC promotions.
“I’m glad that all this year’s contestants had a chance to show off their skills with a shoulder of top-quality PGI Welsh Lamb. The standard was exceptional, and I look forward to the upcoming announcement of who the finalists will be.”
Katy Godsell of Cambrian Training Company, who organise the contest for Worldskills UK, said: “The heat stage of the competition this year has been very close and we are looking forward to the announcement of this year’s finalists. As a Welsh training provider ourselves, it was a real honour to see all Worldskills butchery competitors working with high quality Welsh Lamb across the UK and we would like to thank HCC for their support.”