Ireland to host World Butchers' Challenge 2018

L-R Stephen McAufield, McAufield Family Butchers with chief executive of Butchery Excellence Ireland and bid co-ordinator Rhonda Montgomery and chef Sean Owens
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Butchery Excellence Ireland’s bid to host the World Butchers’ Challenge in 2018 has been accepted.

This is the first-time in the competition’s history that the event has travelled to Ireland, with Belfast announced as the host city.

The World Butchers’ Challenge will take place at IFEX 2018 at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast. A gala awards event planned for Titanic Belfast, and the event is expected to attract 250 butchers from around the globe with a delegation of up to 1,000 extra visitors.

The World Butchers’ Challenge (WBC) was created as a platform where butchers from across the world can compete and showcase the butchery skills and creative uses of the beef, lamb and pork products from their respective countries. The current World Champions, France, will be a hard act to follow and the competition aims to provide a great celebration of World Butchery Skills.

Having previously taken place in New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain, the winning bid to secure the event for 2018 came from Team Ireland and was submitted by Rhonda Montgomery, CEO of Butchery Excellence Ireland and chef Sean Owens in conjunction with IFEX. Fresh Montgomery are the show organisers for IFEX, Northern Ireland’s equipment, interiors and food & drink products show.

Speaking about the winning bid, CEO of the Butchery Excellence Scheme and Bid Co-ordinator, Rhonda Montgomery said: “Following a recent research trip to the World Butchers’ Challenge in Australia, I was confident that Butchery Excellence Ireland could help to deliver the first-ever World Butchers’ Challenge for Ireland and history is being made, with Belfast announced as the host venue for 2018.”

At the World Butchers’ Challenge 2018 Belfast it’s expected that more than 10 global teams will take part in the 2018 event, including teams from Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand.

Commenting on the importance of the event, IFEX’s Salon Culinaire Director, Chef Sean Owens adds: “We couldn’t be happier that we have secured this event for Belfast. This is an incredible opportunity for our Butchery Excellence Ireland members to demonstrate their skills and to shout about the quality of our produce on a world export stage.

“In addition to the competitions, our bid includes a five-day research trip across Ireland for the global delegation. This is our opportunity to showcase the world-class food tourism offering that we’re producing across the Island, coupled with visits to our incredible world accredited venues, from the Giant’s Causeway to the Guinness Storehouse and the Wild Atlantic Way. For our guests, we’re hoping that they will take home a real sense of Ireland, and help to further establish our food island reputation globally.”

IFEX, one of Europe’s longest-established food, hospitality and retail events, and winner of ‘Best Tradeshow Exhibition under 2,000 sq.m’ at the 2016 AEO Excellence Awards. Taking place from 20th – 22nd March 2018, IFEX will grow its footprint, with an additional dedicated pavilion that will be home to the World Butchers’ Challenge and we welcome the butchers of the world to our purpose-built arena.

Butchery Excellence Ireland, based in Aughnacloy, County Tyrone, was developed to help butchers across the country keep on top of changes to legislation, food safety, food labelling, new product development, personal development, training and marketing.

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