Celebrating unsung heroes

It has been a good few weeks for butchers, with several businesses taking home some significant awards.

Joseph Morris took the top title at the Which? Local Business Awards, and T Gibsons won a regional title in the Barclays Family Affair awards, to name just two.

Both these awards were not meat-specific and looked at businesses across a wider spectrum, so for butchers to not only do well but, in the case of Joseph Morris, take the UK-wide title is great news.

There are many unsung heroes in our trade and it's easy to forget, when you're knee-deep in the trimmings, that your shop is a business that can hold its own against any other operation, whether it's a multiple retailer or high-street fashion chain.

The meat trade generally suffers from a poor perception of working conditions - hence the difficulty in attracting fresh blood and new talent into the sector.

As with many things, the perception and the reality are far removed, but we need to get the message out there that the meat sector is a modern, professional industry with great prospects.

Butchers taking home titles, such as the ones we've seen this month, is a great way to spread that word.

And of course, there's always MTJ's own Butcher's Shop of the Year Awards (details page 8). That's a great chance to shine within the trade and get some recognition outside the industry as well.

The boost winning such awards can bring to your business are fantastic and I'd urge all of you to enter as many awards as you can - especially Butcher's Shop of the Year!