Go for glory

Butchers up and down the country should be sharpening their pencils and taking a good long look at their business, as the Butcher's Shop of the Year awards 2009 get under way.

Entry forms have been sent out for the awards, which recognise the best businesses in the country - but you have got to be in it to win it.

Ed Bedington, editor of MTJ, organiser of the awards, said: "Butcher's Shop of the Year is one of the highlights of the year. It is a great way for hard-working butchers to get some recognition for their businesses, and all it requires is a bit of time and thought to fill out the entry form.

"The awards have been going for a long time now and the standard of entry remains high, but I'd urge anyone running a shop, big or small, to have a go. Who knows, you might even end up winning!"

Regional awards are given for:

? North of England

? Scotland

? Wales

? Midlands and East of England

? South of England

? Northern Ireland

Out of those regional winners, an overall winner is declared the best butcher's shop in the UK.

Other awards are given for:

? Farm Shop of the Year

? Butcher's Plus of the Year

? Innovation of the Year

? Young Butcher of the Year

? Lifetime Achievement

Previous winners have seen huge benefits following their success. Last year's overall winner Martin Brereton of Bexleys of Old Swan, Liverpool, reporting significant increases in trade after his win. This year's event will be held at the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel in London, on 17 November.

The awards are sponsored by BPEX, EBLEX, Weddell Swift & Harmony Farm, QMS' Scotch Butchers Club, Lucas Ingredients, Tican and the Meat Training Council. Paper entries need to be completed and back with MTJ by 31 July. For further information or an entry form, call Helen Law on 01293 846587, or email her on helen.law@william-reed.co.uk.