Search for Wales’ best butcher

Skilled butchers from Wales are being called to show off their abilities at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Builth Wells next month. 

Two butchery competitions will be taking place, offering a podium for the best in the business to showcase their capabilities. The Welsh Young Butcher Competition will this year be joined by the Welsh Pork Butcher Competition for the first time. Both events will be held on Monday 30 November.

“These two competitions provide the perfect platform for the best butchers in Wales, of all ages, to showcase their skills at a major event,” explained Arwyn Watkins, managing director of the Cambrian Training Company, which has organised the competition. “It’s a great honour to be the best in Wales at your chosen vocation,” he continued.

The Cambrian Training competition is running the competition in collaboration with Keith Brown, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s meat production competitions chief steward, to jointly run the Welsh Pork Butcher contest.

“We are always trying to find ways to promote Welsh Pork and this competition coincides with new Porc.Wales initiative by Hybu Cig Cymru,” commented Brown. “Porc.Wales aims to provide a platform for both producers and retailers to promote pork from pigs born and bred here in Wales.”

To align with apprenticeship programmes in Wales, the age for this year’s Welsh Young Butcher Competition has been extended to all under 25. As well as being named Wales’ best young butcher, the winner will receive a cheque for £130, with the runner up receiving £70, and all finalists will be honoured with a trophy.

Competitors will have two hours to produce a display of meat from a whole top rump of Welsh Beef, a leg of PGI Welsh Lamb, half a shoulder of Welsh Pork and a whole Cefn Llan Welsh chicken. Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), Randall Parker Foods, Llanidloes and Welsh Meat Online (WMO) are sponsoring the competition.

Meanwhile, the Welsh Pork Butcher Competition, sponsored by HCC and the British Pig Association, will see butchers create a unique display from a half a Welsh pig, using either contemporary or more traditional methods to best highlight the advantages of the product for the consumer. They will also have a two-hour limit.

The aim for both contests it to demonstrate the benefits of Welsh meat. They will be asked to maximise saleability and product value, while judges will be looking for innovative designs and displays, cutting technique, added value in products, HACCP [hazard analysis critical control point] and personal hygiene. They will also be expected to use the carcases to their full advantage.

Applications must be submitted by Monday 9 November, where four finalists will be selected for each competition. Entry forms can be downloaded at www.cambriantraining.com.

Entries for the young butcher contest must be sent to Katy Godsell either by email: katy@cambriantraining.com or by post to: Katy Godsell, Welsh Young Butchers Competition, Cambrian Training Company, The Offices @ Coed Y Dinas, Welshpool, Powys, SY21 8RP.

Those wishing to enter the pork butcher competition can do so by sending entries to Rhian Davies by email at rhian@rwas.co.uk or additionally by post to: Welsh Pork Butcher Competition, Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, Llanelwedd, Builth Wells, Powys, LD2 3SY. 

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