7th April 2011

Butchers battle to be Scotland’s best

Eight of Scotland’s finest butchers are getting ready to compete for the title of Scotland’s best.

The finalists have beaten off nearly 40 competitors from throughout Scotland and will be competing for the title of Butcher of the Year and Young Butcher of the Year at The Scottish Meat Trade Fair, at The Dewar’s Centre, Perth on Sunday 8th May.

Supported by the Scotch Butchers Club run by Quality Meat Scotland the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Associations’ Meat Skills Competition is the biennial search for the most skilled and creative butchers in Scotland and will see the winners walk off with a trophy and a £500 prize.

The finalists all have two and a half hours to create an exciting retail-ready cabinet from a thick flank of beef, a shoulder of pork and a saddle of lamb. They will be judged on butchery skills together with traying and display proficiency. Food safety, health and safety practices and the handling of waste will also be an important part of the scoring.

Laurent Vernet, Head of Marketing for Quality Meat Scotland, said: “Supporting competitions like this is important to QMS as we’re helping to encourage creativity and best practice in the Scottish butchery sector.

“Scotland’s retail butcher sector is one based on excellence and skill at the leading edge of the whole red meat retailing sector. Events like this allow the butchers to celebrate those skills, and enable more experienced butchers to inspire the next generation of Scotland’s butchers.”

Douglas Scott, Chief Executive of SFMTA said: “It is vitally important to continue and promote the craft skills in our industry.

“The ability to handle whole carcases of meat allows maturation and control over quality while the individual skills and innovation of craft butchers ensures a competitive advantage that we want to see preserved.”

The finalists in the over 22 years category vying for the title of Butcher of the Year are: Darren Brown, of Simon Howie Retail in Auchterarder; Richard Megahy , Simon Howie Retail in Perth; Gary Raeburn, Forbes Raeburn & Sons in Huntly and Aaron Taylor, Simon Howie Retail Perth.

The finalists in the under 22 years category with their sights set on the Young Butcher of the Year title are: Neil Anderson, of Greens Fine Meats in Grantown on Spey; Billy Holding, Hendersons of Hamilton; Murray Jamieson, Bruce Brymer Butchers in Brechin and Gareth McDonald, MacDonald Brothers in Pitlochry.

The Scotch Butchers Club has been a long term supporter of the Meat Skills Competition, with the winner of each competition also being offered the opportunity to do a live butchery demonstration at Quality Meat Scotland’s Royal Highland Show stand.

For more information about the competition, visit www.sfmta.co.uk and for more information about the Scotch Butchers Club visit www.scotchbutchersclub.org

Sign up for the latest news and views