Calling on the experts

When it comes to meat, butchers know it all, and consumers will be urged to get back down to the high street and 'Ask the Expert' when it comes to the best cut for tea during next year's National Butchers' Week, from 13-20 March.

Now entering its fourth year, the promotional week aims to put the consumer spotlight firmly on the high street butcher and encourage consumers to make the most of the meat experts in their midst.

Organised by Meat Trades Journal and backed up by a range of industry groups, bodies and companies, the week gives butchers the opportunity to make a noise and reach existing and new customers to generate a bit of excitement and extra sales.

Ed Bedington, editor of MTJ, said: "Each year we've organised the week, it's got that little bit bigger. Each time, we have more butchers organising events and more sponsors looking to push the trade forwards.

"This year, with the help of a steering committee of top industry people, we're hoping to take the week on in leaps and bounds."

Central to the PR campaign for this year will be positioning the butcher as the ultimate expert when it comes to meat, added Bedington. "We'll be conducting a survey to assess consumer knowledge on meat and we'll use that information to conduct a promotional campaign across local, regional and national media, television and radio."

MTJ is also running a series of features in the run-up to the week, giving butchers simple and effective ideas for promotion during the period. Last month we focused on the 'Pick 'n' Mix' offer, which has been used to great effect up in Scotland. This month, on pages 14-15, we take a look at loyalty cards, which can be used effectively during the week, and beyond.

National Butchers' Week is supported by the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders, the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association and the Q Guild.

Sponsoring the awards are Eblex, Bpex, Hybu Cig Cymru Meat Promotion Wales, Dalziel, Weddel Swift, Lucas Ingredients, Manchester Rusk Company and Gordon Rhodes (Dalesman).

Douglas Scott, chief executive of the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association, said: "The SFMTA would like to record its thanks to MTJ and the sponsors of National Butchers' Week for yet again organising this opportunity. We invite all butchers to use this week to showcase the distinct points of difference that independents have over the multiple competition. Get the trumpets out and make sure the fanfare is heard on your street!"

Keith Fisher, butchery development manager with Bpex, said: "As always, Bpex is delighted to be associated with National Butchers' Week. It is a great opportunity for all independent meat retailers to gain the recognition of their skills that they so rightly deserve. Let's hope that the next National Butchers' Week is as successful as the last one."

David Darroch, from Dalziel, said: "National Butchers' Week is a great time for us all to focus on what is important getting more people enjoying the experience of shopping with their local butcher."

l Do not forget to register your business on www.findabutcher.co.uk and, for more information on the week and latest developments, keep watching www.meatinfo.co.uk


UK's oldest butchery family

As part of National Butchers' Week's campaign to get consumers to 'Ask the Expert', we are looking for the UK's oldest butchery family. If you're a butcher with a family legacy dating back across several generations, let us know.

Contact Ed Bedington on 01293 846567, or email him on ed.bedington@william-reed.co.uk

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