Institute of Meat names top apprentice

Samuel Deighton was named Champion Meat Apprentice of The Year at the Institute of Meat (IoM) and Worshipful Company of Butchers (WCB) annual prize-giving on 21 February. 

He received a year’s free membership of the IoM and a cash prize of £500.

Deighton, of Plumpton College, was also awarded Best New Apprentice Progressing on a Trailblazer Standard at the event, held at Tallow Chandlers Hall.

Plumpton College student Matthew Smith scooped the title Meat Apprentice Showing Best Retail Promise.

Crosby Butchery Training students Tara Davies and Daniel Turley (who works for butchery business Aubrey Allen) won the awards for Best Retail Butchery Student and Best Meat Processing Student respectively.

Crosby Butchery Training itself claimed the accolade Best Meat Training Provider of The Year.

Best Poultry Industry Student was Rui Pedro Gomes Sousa, trained by Poultec, while Southern Regional College’s Martin Naan was Best Independent Retail Meat Apprentice.

Kyle Fisher, also a student of Southern Regional College, was named Best Full Time Professional Butchery Student.

William Pountney, a student of Shropshire Training, was recognised as Best Meat Manufacturing Apprentice.

Meat processing giant Dunbia won the award for Best Company Training Scheme and two of its staff were accredited as Master Butchers by IoM on the day. They were Steven Dobson from Northern Ireland and Richard Jones from Wales.

Harry Clarke, trained by Meat (Ipswich), was the recipient of the Lord Graham Endeavour Award, sponsored by Meat Trades Journal, for triumphing through adversity.

Awards were presented by present WCB Master Stuart Thompson.

Turley - Best Meat Processing Student - works for butcher's Aubrey Allen

“Butchery is an honourable profession with a rich heritage,” said IoM chief executive and master of ceremonies Keith Fisher. “The winners awarded today are a credit to the profession and embody the high standards that the IoM prides itself on.”

IoM chairman Bill Jermey said: “Every year the quality of the nominations appears to get better and all are worthy winners.

“Sam impressed us by how he used his apprenticeship to overcome his dyslexia and lack of confidence, by becoming completely involved in the process of making quality meat and meat products, with an impressive work ethic.

“He experiments at home and brings valuable ideas to the business. His passion for all quality food and commitment to making a success of his role make him a great example to others.”

In addition to the awards, 11 professional butchers secured IoM Accredited Master Butcher status, including eight from Booker Cash & Carry.

Dr Phil Hadley, head of supply chain business development at the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board, was given a Fellowship of the IoM for his contribution to the meat industry over many years.

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