A north-east based butcher and vice-chairman of the Guild of Q Butchers won Best International Product for his Highland lamb fillet wrap at the recent Eurobeef Trade Competitions, part of Meat and Fresh Expo 2007, at Kortrijk in Belgium earlier this month.

Harry Coates, of Framwellgate Moor in County Durham, received the maximum 100 points from the judges for his product - a chunk of Scotch lamb fillet, wrapped in minced lamb, with a balsamic mint coating. Harry also won two silver awards for Traditional Pork Sausage and Mexican Steak Burger.

The reputation of the Guild of Q Butchers has spread into Europe, with several other members gaining top honours at the event. Competing in four categories for sausages and burgers, bacon and cured products, cooked meat and kitchen-ready products, Q butchers won 75 awards in the international category, including 27 golds.

Lidgates of Holland Park in London won nine golds, two silver and two bronze awards at the event. Top-scoring

gold products were beef goulash, chicken thigh with tarragon, and spinach saddle of lamb.

Just pipped for the top overall award were Peter Middlemiss from Otley, West Yorkshire and Guild chairman Philip Cranston from Cranstons Cumbrian Food Hall.

The Middlemiss entries of rolled lamb fillets and hog roast scored 99.53 and 99 points with Cranstons' Tuscan lamb also scoring 99. In total, Peter Middlemiss won three gold, three silver and three bronze with Cranstons taking two golds and two silvers.

Harry Coates said: "We are honoured to win the top award, but the message for all Q butchers and other independents is to try and visit the next Meat and Fresh Expo in 2009. The competition is attached to an exhibition which is aimed solely at the retail trade and all of our members who participated this time came away with a host of ideas."

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