And the Rural Oscars go to………..

And the Rural Oscars go to………..

The 2012 Countryside Alliance Awards (aka the Rural Oscars) were presented to top rural businesses by the Secretary of State for DEFRA, Owen Paterson MP, at a ceremony at the Houses of Parliament.

Devon business Piper’s Farm, Cullompton won the prestigious Defra Local Food category.

L-R: William Greig, Henri Greig (corr), Peter Greig and Edward Greig with Owen Paterson.

L-R: William Greig, Henri Greig (corr), Peter Greig and Edward Greig with Owen Paterson.

The Awards are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage through small hard-working businesses.

In thge Butcher category the winner was JW Mettrick & Sons Butchers in Glossop.

JW Mettrick & Son has been operating for over 100 years, via five generations of the Mettrick family. Mettricks employs 56 local people full time. The business comprises two retail butcher shops, one online shop and a small abattoir.
They have recently introduced a pop up butchers in the local town of Salybridge at the request of the local MP, Andrew Bingham. The town had been without a butcher for over a year. This enterprise is profitable and has increased trade to other businesses by 25%.

The main business is the retail of local meat. With the current horsemeat scandal the ‘buy local, eat local’ has never been more important – traceability and a short-foodchain is key

The abattoir is a vital part of the business as it enables local farm animals to be processed. This is especially important to farmers who are increasingly selling their meet direct to customers. One of the major achievements in recent years is linking the meat with the local environment through the peak district Environmental Quality Mark run by Peak Park. Mettricks are well established and therefore very involved in the community. They support schools with fundraising, and every year as part of National Butchers’ Week Mettricks select a different local primary school to try their hand at making sausages and pork pies.

Catering students visit the abattoir and then go on to see the meat processed slaughtered. Mettricks has been involved in supporting the High Peak Business Community with ‘Glossop Vision’, a scheme to regenerate the local town centres in the area. They have worked with the council to develop allotments for local people on unused land at the rear of the abattoir. This outfit has it all – community spirit, support for local farmers, top butchery skills and a way of keeping the High Street heritage of the butcher shop fresh and relevant.”

Joint Highly commended was William Lloyd Williams & Son in Machynlleth and Chapman’s Butchers of Baldock, Hertfordshire.

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