Awards attraction

Trading conditions are certainly challenging, with butchers across the industry facing increasing competition from the multiple retail sector. Price wars at supermarkets and an escalation in the number of deals can prove tempting to shoppers, and butchers need to stay on their toes if they are going to compete in the allegedly post-recession environment.

One good way to attract attention to your business, and generate some interest among your consumer base is to win a competition, and (blatant plug alert) what better competition than Butcher's Shop of the Year? The opportunity to advertise yourself as one of the best shops in the region, if not the country, is worth its weight in gold. We all need an edge and being declared the UK's best shop can count for a lot, so don't let the opportunity pass you by.

Talking of awards, it's a great time to be a young butcher. Not only is MTJ continuing its Young Butcher of the Year contest within the Butcher's Shop awards, but the BBC is also running a new series of 'Chop Idol' following the success of the first series last year. While there were a few issues with the first show, with some saying it did little to help boost the trade and others criticising it on a technical level, the overall feeling appears to be that any publicity for the industry is good news.

Young butchers are not thick on the ground and the trade needs to do all it can to reward, recognise and encourage the talented few we have. So if programmes like the BBC's competition can help, then why not?