Two on the trot for Welsh Young Butcher champion Peter Rushforth

Champion Welsh Young Butcher Peter Rushforth has successfully defended his title at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Builth Wells.

In what was described as a closely fought final, where the high standard of butchery was praised by the judges, Rushforth, from Swans Farm Shop, Treuddyn, Mold, picked up the prize for the second year running.

Having represented Great Britain in a European butchery contest recently, Rushforth was determined to end the year on a high.

Coming into the final as the defending champion, I had everything to lose and the pressure was on, he said. I was pleased with my display, but I think the standard has gone up dramatically this year.

I went for a modern design to make the trays creative to attract a younger audience because we need more young people in the industry.

Looking back at 2015, it has been a very successful year and its a great feeling going into Christmas with this accolade.

He also recently won a bronze medal at the Butchery WorldSkills UK National Competition final at the Skills Show.

Runner-up was former three times champion Tomos Hopkin, from Gwyrhyd Mountain Meat, Rhiwfawr, Swansea. Just two points separated the top two, while third and fourth places were awarded to Dewi Davies and Jed Jones, both aged 18, who work for Celtica Foods, Cross Hands.

The contest is sponsored jointly by Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales, Randall Parker Foods, Llanidloes and WMO, Welshpool.

The competitors were challenged to produce a display of meat in two hours 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.

The judges, Chris Jones from Cambrian Training Company and Steve Morgans from Morgans Butchers, Brecon, were looking for cuts to maximise saleability and product value, as well as new, creative ideas, cutting techniques, added value, display techniques, HACCP and personal hygiene, and maximum yield from the carcases.

Morgans said: The standard was very, very high, with little to choose between Peter and Tomos. I think the standard is improving every year and butchery skills are now being recognised because butchers have to make meat displays appealing to the eye.

It was also great to see Dewi and Jed competing for the first time. They are starting out on the competition ladder and the final was a wonderful learning curve for them.

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