Young butcher competition launched

Shropshire-based young butchers are being given the chance to not only compete for a county title, but also showcase their skills in a grand slam battle of craft skills with butchers from countries across the UK.

The Shropshire Young Butcher of the Year competition, organised by the Cambrian Training Company (CTC), will see the winner pitched into a four way fight with butchers from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, to pick out the ultimate winner.

Both competitions, sponsored by Daysdrove and Bpex, will be taking place at the Shropshire County Show on 15 May, in Shrewsbury, and CTC are looking for young butchers, aged under 25 on 1 January 2011, from across the county to put themselves forward to compete.

Katy Davies, of Cambrian Training Company, said: “It is an exciting prospect for young people starting out in the butchery industry and we hope many of them will take part.

“The competitions will take place on the Sunday while on the Saturday there will be interactive butchery ‘have a go’ activities including sausage-making and brisket tying so the public can have a go.

“To be in with a chance of scooping the title of Shropshire Young Butcher of the Year, entrants need to complete a 250 word application highlighting the benefits of offering quality locally sourced Shropshire Porkers to existing customers and new customers that may be attracted as a result of butchery skills.”

The winner of the Shropshire competition will face Tomos Hopkins, from Ponty Butchers, Pontardawe, Swansea, who won the Welsh Young Butcher of the year in 2009 and 2010, Gary Raeburn, from Forbes Raeburn butchers shop, Huntley, Aberdeenshire, who scooped the title in Scotland twice on the run and the winner of the Northern Ireland competition, Marc Tierney, from Clogher Valleys Meats, Clogher, Co Tyrone, who has competed in international competitions in 2004 and 2006.

Mary Hopkins, general manager at the Shropshire County Show, said: “We wanted to feature the competition at the show to promote traditional butchery skills, local butchers, locally sourced meat and the importance of local companies supporting each other and consumers support to butchers shop in an economic downturn.

“We believe supporting the importance of traditional butchery skills to ensure the future of the industry and to promote traditional butchery as a new career path to the next generation is very important to the agricultural industry.”

Application forms can be downloaded from www.shropshirecountyshow.com need to be in by April 27, 2011.