Ireland prepares for first cross-border Butchery Trade Expo
Published:  17 August, 2016

Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are preparing for the inaugural All-Ireland Butchery Expo next month. 

Organised by the Butchery Excellence Scheme (BES), the expo runs from 28-29 September at the Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan, Northern Ireland. The event is free to those who pre-book, with an admission fee of €15 on the door.

“I identified that there was a niche in the market for a professional organisation to run a show that was specifically tailored to the requirements of butchers,” said Rhonda Montgomery (pictured), chief executive of the BES.

“Through ongoing work in the food sector with butchers across both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, it became clear that there were limited events in Ireland that were aimed specifically at those in the butchery trade.”

Montgomery said she came up with the idea towards the end of April, with preparations beginning at the beginning of May. With 500 butchers expected to be in attendance, the event was put together within 10 weeks.

“We’ve created a trade expo that’s specifically tailored to butchers’ requirements,” Montgomery said. “The event aims to be informative and enjoyable, with a range of features created to address sector-specific issues, skills learning and knowledge that will help butchers to enhance their businesses.”

The butchery development expo will include events such as butchery masterclasses and curing and charcuterie workshops, as well as see the first BES butchery interns graduate from the scheme. TV personality Pamela Ballantine will be in attendance over the two days hosting the live theatre sessions. Day one will include ‘Maximising Butcher Business’, while the second day will include ‘Meat the Supplier’.

Montgomery told Meat Trades Journal that although butchers are the main audience, the expo is also relevant to the wider supply chain. “We will be targeting butchers and we will be targeting retailers, and we’re also targeting chefs. It is a butcher-orientated show, but there are retailers that have butcher counters that would really benefit from coming to the show,” she said.

“We’re quite excited about it – it’s the biggest event we’ve ever held. BES is three years old now so we’re constantly improving the scheme all of the time.”

The expo is being sponsored by Dunbia and Energia, with MLS and McDonnells part-sponsors of a steak-eating contest also taking place at the event.

“As one of the market leaders for supplying farm-assured beef, lamb and pork, both in Ireland and internationally, there’s a great synergy with supporting Ireland’s first two-day expo specifically aimed at those within the butchery sector,” commented Matthew Dobson, managing director of Dunbia.

“At Dunbia, we aim to create better food naturally, and high quality and excellence are top of the agenda for us.

These are values that we share with the Butchery Excellence Scheme and its members across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.”