Calls to arms
Published:  28 April, 2006

USING BUTCHERY skills in a competitive environment gives young staff the opportunity to measure themselves against fellow competitors, say the organisers of a Scottish meat skills competition.

Young butchers are being challenged to enter the Meat Skills Competition, run by Scottish Meat Training (SMT) and sponsored by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), in two categories; under 22 year-olds and over 22 year-olds.

Qualifying heats are in-shop events where entrants will be asked to break down a shoulder of pork. They will be judged on butchery technique, plus traying and display skills. Hygiene and safety practices, plus the handling of waste, will also be important aspects of the judging, which takes place between 26 June and 18 August in north and south regional sections. The ?nal will be held at the Scottish Meat Challenge in September at Lauder College, Dunfermline. A spokesman for SMT said that past winners had the opportunity to travel to other skills events in Manchester, London and France.

Last year's winner in the U22 category, Keith McLagen, represented Scotland in the Retail Meat Show in Dublin and was given a week-long intensive training at the Butchery School in Calais.

Entrants must come from SFMTA members or from business where training has been undertaken through SMT. For more information about the event and for entry forms contact SMT on 01738 637785.