Bennett claims Overall Champion crown

Allan Bennett won yet another Overall Champion crown at the Butchers’ Roadshow and Pork Product Excellence Awards, organised by Bpex.

Bennett won the title for his traditional pork pie last Wednesday (20 February) in the presence of 30 butchers and 179 products.

He won both the Pork Pie and Speciality Hot Eating Pork Pie or Pasty categories, before he went on to become the Overall Champion.

Bennett said: "We do the job right – it’s not rocket science. All our products are made on the premises using good-quality ingredients. We spend time perfecting them to make sure they are the best and the results speak for themselves.

"Now is an ideal time for butchers to stand out. As an industry, our customer service is top notch; we know the provenance of our meat and we take pride in our work. These awards couldn’t come at a better time and we’ll use them to our advantage. The certificates go in the window, we have a promotional board outside and samples of the winning products for customers to try before they buy."

The products were judged on overall appearance, size and colour, ease of cutting, texture and structure and, most importantly, taste and smell.

Having only had its shop open for two years, Craig Finch Butchers became the runner-up, with three golds in the categories of Traditional Pork Sausages, Speciality Pork Sausages and Speciality Pork Product.

Finch said: "Setting up a new business has meant I’ve had to work incredibly hard. These events are a fantastic way of showcasing what we do well and getting input from some of the best in the industry at the same time; helping us turn gold award-winning products into champion ones.

"I’ve also picked up lots of product inspiration. The ‘Pork with Cheddar and Spring Onion Sausage’, which was Speciality Pork Sausage category champion, for example, was based on a sausage I’d seen at a previous event," he added.

Bpex butchery and product development manager Keith Fisher said: "This was another hugely successful event in which butchers spanning different generations came together to show that, for quality pork products, the high street butcher is second to none."