GB team selected for Tri-Nations butchery challenge

Britain’s best butchers are preparing for the Tri-Nations Butchery Challenge, after the GB team was decided in a competition at the International Food and Drink Exhibition (IFE) last month.

Hopefuls from across Great Britain gathered together at the show for a closely fought contest of skill, speed and innovation, culminating with innovative displays using creative cuts. The contestants were assessed on their innovation and creativity, organisational skills, final displays and, of course, butchery skills. The standards shown by all were exceedingly high, leaving the judges with a tough job on their hands in deciding the final six.

Faced with whittling down 20 top-class butchers into a team of six, team manager Danny Upson said: “I have been overwhelmed by the number of British butchers who entered and took part. They were all very eager to demonstrate their butchery skills and win a place in the Tri-Nations GB Butchery team. The judges and I looked for the best butchery skills, creativity and product knowledge, allowing us to select the very best butchers to join in, what we hope will be, the winning team.”

Laura Ryan, marketing manager for quality schemes at Eblex, one of the sponsors of team GB, said: “The butchery industry has rich heritage in Great Britain and our butchers are some of the most highly skilled in the world. We want to recognise this high level of talent in the sector, while encouraging the sharing of best-practice and encouraging the next generation of butchers into the profession. The Tri-Nations is the perfect vehicle to achieve this.”

The Tri-Nations Butchers’ Challenge is a three-way butchery competition designed to promote the uptake of best practice retail butchering. Team GB will travel to Auckland to take on reigning champions New Zealand, and Australia, on 10 September 2015.

So who made the final cut?

This year’s Team GB line up will be:
David Lishman, Captain/Non-cutter – Lishman’s Butchers, Ilkley
Tom Wood, Breaker/Boner – Huntleys Country Stores, Samlesbury
Gary Raeburn, Prep/Finisher – Forbes Raeburn The Family Butcher, Huntly
Andrew Ayris, Boner/Prep – Andrews Family Butchers, Marlborough
Maurice Stephenson, Small goods/Sausage – Nigel Fredericks, London.
Chris Glaysher, Breaker/Finisher/Dresser – Glaysher Family Butchers, Basingstoke.
Danny Upson, Team Manager – Dalziel

Team captain David Lishman was interviewed by Sara Cox on BBC Radio 2, after the GB team’s plight was picked up by the media. The butcher told Cox and the listeners about the competition’s history, as well as how the contest worked. Lishman said he expected strong competition from the New Zealanders, but added: “It’s a really big meaty expedition and we’re hopefully going to be bringing the trophy back this time.”

The GB Tri-Nations team is sponsored by Eblex, Lucas Ingredients, Dalziel and The Q Guild.

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