Two Scottish butchers bagged three top-ranking diamond awards at the 2013 Smithfield Awards, an annual national product evaluation showcase contested by Q Guild butchers nationwide.
John Lawson Butchers in Uphall, West Lothian, picked up the award for Best Scotch Beef product, sponsored by the Scotch Butchers Club, with their Highland Blue Scotch Steak Burger.
The family business, which sources all their Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb from John's brother Russell Lawson at Midseat farm Bathgate, also won a top-ranking diamond award for their Steak and Wild Mushroom Pie.
The third Scottish diamond award fell to Fergusons Butchers, of Airdrie, with their Beef Chipolata - a hand-crafted traditional Scotch Beef product made to the shop’s own recipe.
Both butchers are members of the Scotch Butchers Club, run by Quality Meat Scotland, which has over 300 members who source their Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork from approved suppliers.
Jack Broussine, Marketing Executive at Quality Meat Scotland, said: “It's fantastic to see so many butchers using great quality ingredients, such as Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb, and adding value to these to create their own signature products.
“The products show off the cream of the crop in craft butchery and innovation, resulting in fantastic quality, creativity and, most importantly, taste.”
John Lawson, who founded his business in 1979 with his wife Linda and now has three shops in Uphall, Broxburn and Winchburgh, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won the award for Best Scotch Beef product and would like to thank our loyal customers and staff who make it all possible.
“It’s truly a joint effort to win an award like this and we are looking forward to entering the competition again next year when we will hopefully win some more awards to bring back to West Lothian!”
Graeme Johnston, who runs his business with brother, Richard, and employs 25 staff in his Airdrie shop, said: “We are absolutely delighted to win an award in such a respected competition.
“It is especially pleasing for staff who work extremely hard making quality products from family recipes.”
Q Guild national chairman Brindon Addy added: “Products were evaluated by an independent panel of expert judges and the fact that 170 of them, or 45% of the total entry, received either diamond or gold awards speaks wonders for the quality of submissions and the emphasis our members continue to place on product innovation. Smithfield Awards remain among the meat industry’s most prized accolades.”