12th May 2015

Dedication and Innovation of Young Butchers Celebrated at Meat Skills Final

The young butchers who took part in the finals of the 2015 Meat Skills Scotland competition at the Scottish Meat Trade Fair in Perth at the weekend, were described by the judges as a “credit to the meat trade.”

The winners of both age categories of the competition, sponsored by the Scotch Butchers Club (Quality Meat Scotland) and Dalziel, are both from Aberdeenshire and employees of the same butchers business - Davidson Specialist Butchers, based in Inverurie.

Lisa Finnigan lifted the title for best butcher in the under 22-year-old category, with her work colleague Steven Cusack lifting the title for over 22-year-old entrants. The butchers displayed their skills at the final using various cuts of Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork.

Judging of the heats of the 2015 Meat Skills Scotland competition took place throughout March, with eight finalists selected from an initial entry of 30 butchers from around the country.

Judges George Lees and Stewart Dempsie were clearly impressed with the standard of the entries. The pair said it had been a privilege to be invited to so many shops to judge the heats and they thanked the entrants’ employers for giving the butchers the vital time and encouragement to practice for, and take part in, the competition.

All competitors were full of enthusiasm, the judges observed, and showed commendable ingenuity in preparing and displaying the various cuts of meat.

Uel Morton, Chief Executive of Quality Meat Scotland, said: “Butchers deserve recognition for their innovation and creativity as well as their traditional skills.

“Many congratulations to the winners and all those who entered the competition which showcases these skills. Their dedication to providing consumers with a top quality product and service is a very encouraging signal for the future.”

"Retaining specialist skills is vitally important to the craft butcher sector,” said Douglas Scott, Chief Executive of the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association.

“This year's Meat Skills Scotland event raised the bar yet again with all the finalists displaying phenomenal talent. Those with such skills can be confident that they will have a bright and successful future in our industry. They have certainly proved they can really cut it!"

The other three finalists in the over-22 category were:  Gary MacLean and Jamie Syme from Alex Mitchell Butchers, Glenrothes and Steven Strachan, from Hendersons of Hamilton.

In the under-22 category, the other three finalists were: Ryan Docherty from Hollerans, Tillicoultry;  Stuart Rankin from Falleninch Farm Butchers and Daniel Earl from Kilnford Farm Shop.

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