Grimsby butcher takes the title

Grimsby-based butchers John Pettit & Sons Ltd has won the prestigious title of the British Pig Executive (BPEX) Foodservice Pork Product of the Year 2008.

Grimsby-based butchers John Pettit & Sons Ltd has beaten stiff competition from seventeen other finalists to win the prestigious title of the British Pig Executive (BPEX) Foodservice Pork Product of the Year 2008.

The competition generated 80 entries from butchers and caterers supplying the foodservice industry. Following an initial judging round, three finalists from each of the six categories of entry were put forward to the grand final at Butchers' Hall in London on 4 March 2008.

John Pettit & Sons was delighted with its success as Overall Champion with a 'Tamarind, Maple & Madeira Stuffed Pork Loin' and also winner of the 'Best Fresh Pork Cut' and 'Best Pork & Pastries Product' categories.

John Pettit said: "We're really pleased to have done so well; to win two categories as well as coming away as the Overall Winner is great.

"The pork loin dish which was developed by my wife Val stemmed from an idea we had for a Christmas ham. We wanted something new and different; the marinated ham sold really well over the festive period, so the marinade was extended to the pork loin and has worked exceptionally well. Following our success today, it will now be offered to all our foodservice customers, as well as sold in the shop."

John Pettit & Sons entered the awards last year and won the 'Cold Eating Product' category with its 'Lincolnshire Pork and Black Pudding Terrine', which is now being launched as a result of that success. John added: "The BPEX competition is great. We get recognition for our products, feedback from the industry and can promote products as award winners, which in turn lets our customers know they are getting consistently good food. They're tough to enter but the rewards are more than worth it!"

John believes that the foodservice market is really beginning to put the emphasis on provenance. He explained: "We tailor our products to meet the demands of the discerning customer. Our philosophy is that we 'don't sacrifice quality for price!' All the pork we use in the business is locally farmed outdoor reared, fully assured Lincolnshire pork. Not only is the resulting quality outstanding but it supports local farmers too."

BPEX foodservice trade manager, Tony Goodger, said: "Our congratulations go to John Pettit & Sons and their success in what was a very tough competition. Their 'Tamarind, Maple & Madeira Stuffed Pork Loin' product received high praise from the judges.

"The BPEX Foodservice Pork Product of the Year competition is only in its second year but it has already grown in prominence. The quality of products submitted this year was superb and all of the finalists must be congratulated for their efforts.

"Pork is such a versatile, tasty and cost effective ingredient, which consumers enjoy when eating out. In fact, we know that many would order more pork dishes if they were more widely available on pub and restaurant menus. That is why it is important to acknowledge those manufacturers that supply such original and delicious pork dishes."

The Foodservice Pork Product of the Year competition recognises and rewards product excellence and innovation in six separate categories: Fresh Pork Cut, Pork Ready Meal, Best Cold Eating Product, Pork and Pastry, Best Cured Product and Best Innovative Pork Product.