Butchers’ Challenge should educate and inspire, says Eblex chairman

Global co-operation and inspiration to a younger generation of butchers should be just some of the shared objectives of competitions like the Tri-Nations Butchers’ Challenge, guests to the event’s Gala Dinner were told.

Eblex chairman John Cross told the gathered teams from Australia, New Zealand and the UK that when it came to working in, promoting and developing the meat industry, they were “all on the same side”. “We all want to sell more meat. There are plenty of people out there who want to eat it.”

However, he said the industry faced challenges from all sides, from health-related attacks, to claims about the environment, and he said those issues were common to everyone in the meat industry, regardless of the country they were in.

“With that in mind, it is natural that we should be sharing good practice globally, and that is an important part of what the Tri-Nations Butchers Challenge, and the associated study visit, is all about. It gives us the opportunity to meet and talk and learn more about each others’ industries through the study tour. We can learn from each other – what works, what doesn’t and where we need to focus our efforts going forward.”

Most importantly, he said, the competition was an important vehicle for showcasing the talent within the butchery sector: “This is vitally important if we want to attract young people into the profession. I have no doubt that some young people who visit the Great Yorkshire Show and see these three teams showcasing their talent and enthusiasm, will be inspired to look at a career in butchery, or the wider red meat industry. It is difficult not to be moved by the enthusiasm that I have already seen – and I have been in the industry for more years than I care to remember. Imagine what that can do for the next generation of butchers.”

The Tri-Nations Butchers’ Challenge takes place in Harrogate on Thursday morning (10 June), with the winners of the competition being revealed later that night at the black-tie SuperMeat & Fish Awards at the Park Lane Hilton in London.

For more details about the awards, contact Elizabeth Ellis on 01293 846593, or email her on elizabeth.ellis@wrbm.com.

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