HCC agrees to sponsor new Craft Butchery Team Wales
The new Craft Butchery Team Wales, which is aiming to compete in the World Butchers’ Challenge in the United States next year, has secured a sponsorship deal with Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).
The biennial competition, which will be contested by 16 countries from around the globe, is being held in Sacramento, California in September 2020. Defending champions are Ireland.
To celebrate the sponsorship deal, Craft Butchery Team Wales manager Steve Vaughan and team members have agreed to give a butchery skills demonstration on the HCC stand at the Royal Welsh Show on Wednesday, July 24.
Rhys Llywelyn, of HCC, said: “Wales has a wealth of talented butchers who have the skills and ability to prepare, display and sell our country’s quality meat offering to the public.
“HCC is pleased to sponsor the very first Team Wales and hope that they make our country and sector proud in what promises to be a tough contest! We look forward to welcoming them to our busy stand at the Royal Welsh Show where they will show-off their skills and technique in front of a live audience.”
The World Butchers’ Challenge comprises several elements with competitions for teams of six butchers, young butchers and apprentice butchers. There are also individual prizes for best pork, lamb, beef, poultry and products and beef, pork and gourmet sausages.
In addition, the judges will select six butchers from all entrants for a ‘best of the best’ world team award.
During the competition, teams will be given three hours and 15 minutes to butcher a side of pork, side of beef, a whole lamb and five chickens. The meat will then be presented in a display.
The recently formed Craft Butchery Team Wales has been welcomed as a new division of the Culinary Association of Wales. Chefs who compete around the world for Culinary Team Wales will be sharing their knowledge and experience with the butchers.
Craft Butchery Team Wales captain is Peter Rushforth from Ernest W. Edge and Son, Handbridge, Chester, former winner of Butchery WorldSkills UK and Welsh Butcher of the Year competitions and HCC Scholar in 2016. He will fly to Sacramento in September for the Captains’ Run, which is designed to prepare international teams for next year’s competition.
Squad members include Craig Holly from Neil Powell Butchers, Abergavenny, Tommy Jones, Jones Brothers, Wrexham, Matt Edwards, Coleg Cambria, Connah’s Quay, Dan Raftery, Randall Parker Foods, Llanidloes and Liam Lewis, The Hollies Farm Shop, Tarporley. More butchers are expected to join the squad over the coming months.
The support team includes Chris Jones, head of the food and drink business unit and training officer Frank Selby, both from Cambrian Training Company, Welshpool, which organises the Welsh Butcher of the Year and Butchery WorldSkills UK competitions.
Mr Vaughan said securing the sponsorship deal from HCC was a big boost for the team and he was looking forward to managing the very talented butchers.
“I think we have a chance to build a good team because all the lads have done well in top quality competitions and know how to compete at the highest level.”
The team is still seeking support from sponsors to enable the butchers to fly the flag for Wales in competitions at home and around the globe.
Chris Jones explained that Cambrian Training Company had, for many years, been seeking a chance to expose talented Welsh butchers to global competitions. “The World Butchers’ Challenge will provide our butchers with a platform to compete against the best in the world,” he said.