Butchers urged to enter shop awards

If you are running a potentially award-winning butcher's shop, now is your chance to gain some recognition on a national stage.

Meat Trades Journal is pleased to announce the return of our popular Butcher’s Shop of the Year Awards, which will take place at the Landmark Hotel, London on 16 November. The competition is one of the highlights of the butchery businesses’ calendar and aims to recognise and reward excellence across the sector, from high street outlets to farm shops.

Ed Bedington, editor of MTJ, said: “These awards are a brilliant opportunity for butchery-based businesses to get some valuable and marketable recognition for all the hard work they put in, day in, day out throughout the year.

“There are some superb businesses out there, and it’s a great privilege to be able to celebrate their success and shine a spotlight on some of the fine work that is being done”

The competition covers butchers’ shops around the country, with the winner in each region going head to head to see which one is declared the overall best butcher’s shop in the UK.

Other national awards will see farm shops from across the UK compete to see which is the best, while the Butcher’s Plus award will recognise businesses that have expanded beyond traditional butchery – typically shops that have added on other services, such as a café, and broadened the range beyond meat.

This year will also see the return of the Halal Butcher’s Shop of the Year category following its successful debut last year.

Also returning is the ever-popular Young Butcher of the Year, a hotly contested title, which was taken last year by Gary Raeburn, of Huntly in Aberdeenshire.

Bedington added: “The Young Butcher category is a great opportunity for businesses to put forward their young talent and give them a real shot in the arm. As an industry, we desperately need to encourage youth into our trade, and these awards can be a big help with that.

“The awards in general can generate interest for a shop and previous winners have managed to market their success and gain a big boost to their business as a result.”

Last year’s overall winner, Stewart’s Family Butchers of Enniskillen, gleaned fantastic coverage following its success. At the time, owner Gabriel Stewart said it was like winning an Olympic Gold medal, and it attracted a lot of attention. “We’ve had quite a few people come into the shop who said they had seen us on the TV and wanted to see the shop. We’ve also noticed many new faces who aren’t familiar to us, which is great. The coverage we’ve had has been brilliant.”

The competition is judged in two rounds, with an initial paper entry being assessed by a panel of expert judges with a broad spectrum of retail and butchery experience. A shortlist of three finalists in each category will then be visited by our on-the-road judges to decide the overall winners.

A further category, Innovation of the Year, will also be assessed on paper, and the winner picked during the first round.

This year’s awards are sponsored by Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales, Eblex, Bpex, Weddel Swift & Harmony Farm, Lucas Ingredients, Verstegen Sauces & Spices, Tican Chilled, Meat Training Council and Quality Meat Scotland’s Scotch Butchers’ Club.

Entry forms for the awards are being sent out now, or you can download a copy at www.meatinfo.co.uk.
For more information and details on the awards, contact Hannah Rosevear on 01293 610431, or email her at hannah.rosevear@wrbm.com.

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