Enter for MTJ's Butcher's Shop awards

Entry forms are now available for the this year's Meat Trade Journal's Butcher's Shop of the Year awards.

Entry forms are now available for the 2008 Meat Trade Journal's Butcher's Shop of the Year awards.

Are you the best butcher in your region? Do you think you could be running the best butcher's shop in the entire UK? If so, you need to enter our 2008 awards. The prestigious MTJ awards recognise excellence in the independent meat retail sector and give butchers the chance to shine on a national scale.

As well as the six regions - Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Midlands & East, North of England and South of England - the categories Farm Shop of The Year, Butcher's Plus and Innovation of the Year are featured again.

Last year, we saw the introduction of a new award for Young Butcher of the Year, with the aim of encouraging and rewarding youngsters coming into the business. If you've got a young trainee or apprentice butcher why not enter them for this award. Ed Bedington, editor of MTJ, said: "This is a tough business into which to attract young talent and there's little opportunity for that talent to shine. That's why we introduced this award last year and, this year, we are just as keen to get in as many entries as possible."

Previous winners of the Butcher's Shop of the Year have not only seen their business recognised by their peers, but have seen a growth in sales. John Jackson, of Jackson's Butchers in Ballynure, Northern Ireland, took the top accolade last year, when he was declared the best in the UK by the judges.

John, a seventh-generation butcher, entered the award after visiting a previous winning store in Scotland in 1994. Similarly, Scottish butcher Simon Howie, who was crowned the best in the UK in 2006, was able to use his win to grow his sales.

Bedington said: "The Butcher's Shop of the Year awards are a great platform to promote your business. Whether you are a finalist, regional winner or overall winner, the fact that you've been highlighted as one of the best in the business is a great story to tell your customers."

The finals of the competition will be held at a glittering lunch at a new venue this year - the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel in London on 18 November. "We have to had to move to the awards to accommodate their continued growth and success," said Bedington.

The entry deadline for the awards is 1 August. For entry forms and further information, please contact Stephanie Smallwood on 01293 610433 or email on stephanie.smallwood@william-reed.co.uk