Due to overwhelming demand, Meat Trades Journal is extending the entry deadline for its Butcher's Shop of the Year Awards to Friday, 14 August. Entries have been pouring in for the awards, which recognise the best butchery businesses across the UK.
Ed Bedington, editor of MTJ, said: "The benefits of being a finalist, let alone winning, are huge and can make a big difference to your business, both in terms of staff morale and customer spend. The awards are also a great way of assessing where you're at with the business, taking a good look at how you are doing things and strengthening your operation.
"I would urge anyone running a butcher's shop to give some serious consideration to entering. We've had a lot of entries so far, but we thought we'd give those who have yet to put pen to paper a little more time to get those entries in."
Regional awards are given for:
? North of England
? Midlands/East of England
? South of England
? Northern Ireland
Out of those regional winners, an overall winner is declared the Best Butcher's Shop in the UK.
Other awards are given for:
? Farm Shop of the Year
? Butcher's Plus of the Year
? Innovation of the Year
? Young Butcher of the Year
? Lifetime achievement
Previous winners have seen huge benefits following their success, with last year's overall winner Martin Brereton of Bexleys of Old Swan, Liverpool, reporting significant increases in trade after his win.
This year's event will be held at the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel in London, on 17 November.
The awards are sponsored by BPEX, EBLEX, Weddell Swift & Harmony Farm, QMS' Scotch Butchers Club, Lucas Ingredients, Tican, the Meat Training Council and Cherry Valley.
Jason Wilkie, trading director with Tican Chilled, said: "We continue to support the awards because we feel they encourage our customers to develop and diversify and meet the challenges of the modern retail market. The retail butchery market is core to our own business and we want to see it flourish."
Keith Carey, from Harmony Farm, said: "As proud suppliers to quality high street butchers for over 20 years, Harmony Farm is delighted to continue its sponsorship of the Butcher's Shop of the Year awards for 2009. As sponsors since the competition's inception, Harmony Farm is pleased to be connected with a contest that promotes excellence and rewards effort and innovation within the butchery trade."
Rachael Bennett, marketing manager with Cherry Valley, said: "We are really excited about being part of the Butcher's Shop of the Year Awards and we feel that it is the perfect event to promote our new brand, Farm Fresh Duck brought to you by Cherry Valley."
Paper entries need to be completed and back with MTJ by 14 August. Anyone requiring further information or an entry form should contact Helen Law by telephone on 01293 846587, or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org.