Food fighters visit

Two young Danish butchers got to experience the British meat industry first-hand, thanks to an innovative project aimed at encouraging young people with a passion for the meat industry.

Josephine Blumensaadt Jensen and Claus Thinggaard, both trainee butchers studying at the Danish Meat Trade College, were among the eight young recruits carefully selected to take part in the Danish Bacon & Meat Council's 'Food Fighters' project.

This year, the carefully selected trainees from four professions - nutrition, butchery and delicatessen, chefs and diet/health - visited Copenhagen, London and Brussels on a mission to answer two key questions set for them by the Danish minister for education: "What is the latest food trend?" and "How can health be combined with the shopping experience?"

The group were in London from 8-10 September and their visit included a trip to Holland Park to meet award-winning butcher David Lidgate, a tour of the Worshipful Company of Butchers at Butchers' Hall and an introduction to the historical home of the British meat industry - Smithfield market.

"It has been amazing - we have been very busy, but it's been such a good experience," said Claus.

"Meeting David Lidgate was the highlight of the trip for me - he has a unique vision that you don't really find in Denmark and it was fantastic to see that with my own eyes. Its was just really amazing to meet someone as passionate about the industry as he is."

Josephine said she felt "honoured" to have been picked as a food fighter and the trip to London had only confirmed her passion for butchery. "My favourite part of the trip was the visit to Butchers' Hall - it was beautiful and you really get a sense of the history and spirit of the industry."

The talented young butcher was so impressed that she might come back to London once her studies in Denmark are finished. "I talked with some of the butchers in Smithfield and am considering coming back to work there as a trainee," she said.

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