12th March 2010

Butchery site even more cutting edge

A new and improved version of the Cutting Edge, a free and unique resource featuring video clips of a master butcher at work, has been launched on Quality Meat Scotland’s website.

The Cutting Edge is aimed at helping trainee butchers and farmers who wish to sell directly to consumers to master the wide range of cutting techniques required for the job. It has been extremely popular since it was launched on CD-Rom about five years ago and on the website in 2007 and the updated resource is available now here.

QMS Industry Development Manager, Andy McGowan, said: “The feedback about the Cutting Edge has surpassed all our expectations. In the time we’ve been redeveloping it we’ve had messages from all over Scotland and the world saying how useful a training tool it is.

“Technology has moved on leaps and bounds since the launch of the original Cutting Edge. In this new version we’ve gone back to the original tapes and re-mastered them to offer higher quality video and sound than both the original website and CD-Rom version.

“The independent butcher sector recognises the need to attract new blood into the industry and to make sure that these apprentices go on to develop the first class skills and knowledge that are required. Training initiatives like the Cutting Edge go some way to making this happen.”

The Cutting Edge features more than four and a half hours of footage of master butcher, Viv Harvey, undertaking a cut-by-cut breakdown of a complete beef, lamb and pork carcase and showing how to maximise the value of each part of the animal.

Although greatest interest in the teaching tool has come from the butcher and retail sectors, farmers looking to diversify into butchery through farmers’ markets and farm shops have also found it a useful tool to develop their cutting skills.

Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association Chief Executive, Douglas Scott, added: “The traditional way of teaching young butchers is for them to watch skilled craftsmen at work and then to practice the techniques themselves.

“The downside of this ‘watch and learn’ method is that the trainee’s progress can be restricted in a busy working environment. Extending this facility to the website means that even more young butchers have the chance to perfect the different cutting techniques that are necessary to prepare cuts of beef, pork and lamb.”

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