Consumer promotion and projects to boost productivity and sustainability on farms are the aspects of a red meat levy body’s work that are most in the public eye. Yet, it’s vital that no link in the supply chain is overlooked.
Top-quality butchery is key to efficient processing, and to the experience of the end-consumer of premium products such as PGI (protected geographical indication) Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef.
Important to the future
So, ensuring that our Welsh red meat industry has enough skilled and innovative butchers for the future is important to HCC.
In pursuit of this aim, we partner with a range of organisations, including supporting butchery competitions arranged by the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, as well as the WorldSkills UK butchery contest, where young Welsh butchers have enjoyed considerable success in recent years – Matthew Edwards and Peter Rushforth have both captured the top prize.
Over the next 12 months we’re looking to expand our activity in developing butchers’ skills, by sponsoring the new Craft Butchery Team Wales, which is aiming to compete in the World Butchers’ Challenge in the US next year. The biennial competition, contested by 16 countries from around the globe, is being held in Sacramento, California in September 2020.
Coming through the ranks
Peter Rushforth, who now works at Cheshire-based butchers Innovative Food Ingredients, is the team captain, and squad members include Craig Holly, Tommy Jones, Matt Edwards, Dan Raftery and Liam Lewis – young butchers who have come through the ranks in Wales and who have been exposed to competitions such as WorldSkills. They will be supported by Chris Jones and Frank Selby from Cambrian Training Company.
We hope the profile of the new Welsh Team will inspire more people into butchery and processing careers.