Ok, we know it’s only September but the evenings are getting darker earlier and soon the Christmas songs will be blasting over the airwaves. So what better way for butchers to prepare for the busiest time of the year than by looking at what sold well in recent festive seasons?
Who doesn’t like to spice things up? Of course we’re talking about seasonings and condiments, and how they can add to a business.
Food luminary Tom Parker Bowles will present the 2017 Butchers Q Guild Smithfield Awards, to be held early in 2017.
Aaron McDonald explores how butchers can expand their client base by offering a selection of delicatessen products.
Meat Trades Journal travelled to Dorset to see what Brace of Butchers has been up to since it won at the Butcher's Shop of the Year Awards, and we weren't disappointed.
Aaron McDonald investigates what developments butchers ought to be looking out for in the sundries market
Ensuring your business is looking its best can be costly but it’s vital for any butcher with long-term success in mind, says Aidan Fortune.
Whether a major processor or independent, butchers are having to cut meat to satisfy changing consumer demands.
While turkey is still viewed as the Christmas hero, consumer demand is always evolving and butchers need to keep up with the trends.
With the debate on stun or non-stun slaughter still raging, Oli Haenlein examines the different arguments on how meat should be labelled, given slaughter and other welfare factors.
Training in the meat industry has not always delivered the specific skills companies need, but a new apprenticeship scheme is about to shake up the sector, as Helen Gregory reports
Following incidences of pork contamination, the UK halal sector has had a turbulent year and the issue of who should be responsible for monitoring the sector is not yet resolved, as Nicholas Robinson reports.
Employers could be forgiven for lacking sympathy with an employee who returns from a holiday complaining they were sick while on annual leave, so they could not properly enjoy it particularly if they are sporting a suspiciously healthy-looking tan.
The demonisation of meat occurred simultaneously with the public health dietary advice to "base our meals on starchy foods" and obesity has increased tenfold since. Here are seven facts in the defence of meat to help the industry fight the "nutritional ignorance" that currently abounds.
With less than a month to go until the big day, MTJ's Butchers' Fair Autumn is shaping up to be the best yet. The event, taking place at the Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate on Sunday 7 October 2012, will follow the same format as previous successful fairs, offering butchers a great opportunity to network with suppliers and peers, gather inspiration and share skills, best practice and innovation. And, with an extensive list of exhibitors, some first-class speakers and the return of MTJ's prestigious Champion of Champions and the National Pie Competition, the Autumn fair promises to be bigger and better than ever.
As Aprils go, last year’s was an absolute corker. The barometer rose, the sun and barbecues came out and barely had the Easter eggs been swallowed, than a swelter of bunting and flag-waving broke out, along with collective national swooning over Kate’s dress and Pippa’s bottom.
Most shoppers will look at the brand, the recipe, the price, the promotional offer and probably the country of origin of the meat used when buying sausages, but far fewer will give a moment’s thought to the casing.
The London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics will offer some big opportunities for businesses supplying meat into London. It is estimated that the Games will generate a £750m increase in spending, the majority of which will be in the food and hospitality sector. However, with 37 venues across London and an estimated 20m spectators expected on top of normal London traffic, they could also prove to be a logistical nightmare.
Natural casings manufacturers are appealing to processors to take more care of delicate sheep intestines, saying some operators may even have to slow down their lines a little to achieve better quality. The manufacturers are looking for better value-for-money as costs rise, more training of gut room staff in the handling, cleaning and storage of the product, and a minimum quality standard.
Everyone, it seems, is a sucker for a decent bacon sarnie. The booming bacon market bears testament to this fact, with strong sales of bacon over the last year. Around 90% of households buy bacon and, over the last 12 months, shoppers have topped up on more rashers per trip. Total bacon volumes in the 52 weeks to 19 February rose 3.1%, with values also up by 4.4% from the previous year.
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Four months after winning the title of Butcher’s Shop of the Year 2011, Scottish butcher John Davidson is still reflecting on his hard-won success. “It’s great that we won,” he says. “Although we were doing very well before, it has given us even more credibility — and it’s nice that people think you are the best and that you deserve the accolade.”
Butchers up and down the country are being urged to make the most of this year’s National Butchers’ Week, which takes place later this month. The week, now in its fifth year and taking place from 25-31 March, is aimed at raising the profile of the vibrant butchery sector and puts the spotlight firmly on the craft skills, expertise and the great things the industry has to offer.
In most butchers’ shops 80% of the fresh meat sold is cut and 20% is minced, retail butcher Allan Bennett estimates. Bacon and cooked meats are the main meats sliced, of course.
Unlike the volatility inherent in the stock market, commodity prices or indeed the price of meat itself, the market for butchers’ sundries is one that does not tend to fluctuate wildly over the course of the year. Although trends do come and go, there is no doubt that butchers need a steady supply of ancillary products to run their businesses, and that these incorporate everything from twine to sausage casings, hygiene products and knives to pre-packed and display trays.
When Aubrey Allen of Leamington Spa had a shop refit in April this year, getting the point-of-sale features right was a priority. Simple, informative POS, such as posters and recipe leaflets, are effective tools for boosting sales, but in addition Aubrey Allen decided to opt for a new printed window display, a dry-ageing beef cabinet, and a flat-screen TV showing different products and services.