Institute of Meat says Think Tank’s call for titles to recognise craft skills long overdue

A new report issued by think tank, The Social Market Foundation (SNF), whilst welcome, only highlights something The Institute of Meat have been doing for a decade, according to their Chief Executive, Keith Fisher.

‘Making Apprenticeships Work’ published by SNF on 27th March asserts that more needs to be done to raise the status of technical and vocational occupations.  It suggests that lessons can be learned from the Middle Ages when the titles such as ‘Master Craftsman’ was first introduced. 

The report added that higher apprenticeships should be recognised as demanding qualifications that can lead to senior jobs and higher wages.  New titles for holders could add status to apprenticeships, and eventually act as ‘signals’ to candidates and employers.

The Institute of Meat’s Chairman, Bill Jermey, first introduced the title of ‘Institute of Meat Accredited Master Butcher’ back in 2009 to recognise the skills, knowledge and experience of those butchers at the top of their profession. To qualify applicants must submit evidence of their suitability for the title, which is then reviewed firstly by an IoM accredited moderator. The title is only awarded after careful consideration of the moderator’s recommendation. It is a highly prized title in the meat industry, held by only 45 of the country’s most accomplished butchers. IoM accredited Master Butchers are entitled to use the post nominals MB.Inst.M to signify their status.

Titles are not just for the most experienced butchers though. Recognising the quality of the Butcher Standard Apprenticeship the IoM now awards butchery apprentices the title of Apprentice Member, Institute of Meat – App.M.Inst. Apprentices successfully completing their apprenticeship can then apply to become full members, with the title M.Inst.M, to signify their level of qualification. The final step between apprentice and master butcher is ‘Graduate’, G.M.Inst.M, which butchers completing the Advanced Butcher Apprenticeship are entitled to apply for. 

Commenting on the report, Fisher said,

“We welcome the SNF’s suggestions. The new butchery apprentices are deserving members of the title, Apprentice Member, Institute of Meat. The apprenticeship is demanding and requires their full commitment. Those that succeed may become the Institute of Meat Master Butchers (MB.Inst.M) of the future.” 


Notes to Editors:

The Institute of Meat was formed in 1946 and is a recognised professional body in the meat industry. Its core purposes are to promote high standards of training and career development and provide a forum for meat industry professionals to connect and share ideas and expertise. 

Team GB Announced for World Butchers Challenge

The British Beefeaters have announced the six butchers who will be representing the country at the World Butchers’ Challenge 2018, in Belfast.

Captain Tom Wood said ‘the standards this year were very high’

Members of the team from left to right are: MARK RAMSAY – Falleninch Farm, BRYCE LAWSON – Mcmurchie Meats, JESSICA LELIUGA – Ye Olde Sausage Shop

SIMON TAYLOR – Surrey Hills Butchers, MICHAEL DUFTON – Knitlsey Farm Shop, TOM WOOD – Tom wood artisan butcher (captain )


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John Mettrick – First Master Butcher to become NFMFT President

At the recent NFMFT AGM and Members Day Derbyshire butcher John Mettrick to took over as President
of the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders (NFMFT) from Kent based butcher Jim Sperring at the Federation’s annual meeting held at the CASA hotel, Chesterfield on Sunday 9th July.

Following the announcement, John pledged to ensure that independent retailers continue to be engaged at Government level, adding:

“The federation will be engaged with the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Food Standards Agency to try and fashion regulation in such a way that craft butchers – farm shop and processors are not disadvantaged – but are valued and recognised for the part they play in the meat industry.

”The new president also appeared positive about the opportunities for members and butchers in general, despite economic uncertainty, and commented: “We are well placed to provide unique products and a unique service that supermarkets cannot offer.”

John who is an IoM Master Butcher and owner of the Award winning  Mettricks Butchers has 3 shops based in Derbyshire; Glossop, Stalybridge & Hadfield.

Mettricks focus is with the quality of their meat, as well as its freshness, its tast and its journey. This ethos has led Mettricks to win a multitude of awards, including but not limited to Britain’s Best Butcher, Britain’s Topshop National winner and Best Online Butcher.

Booker Master Butchers Attend Court Lunch

Charles Wilson CEO of Booker was guest speaker at the recent Court lunch on June 1st (pictured centre with the Master of the WCB, Stuart Thompson).

At the invitation of Charles, the recently awarded Master Butchers from Booker were also in attendance. See picture where he is flanked by four on each side.

On the left is Dave Munden, Kevin Hawkins, Kevin Meades, Mark Rogers,

On the right is Scott Robinson, James Doherty, Shaun Stockhill, Eamon Nash

For more information on the full list of Master Butchers see here


Best of the Best battle for a place on Team GB

Finalists from across Britain competed at Meatup for the chance to represent their country at the prestigious World Butchers Challenge next year.

The event, which takes place in Belfast from 20-22 March 2018, will see teams from Great Britain, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, Greece and France pushing the boundaries of butchery in a bid to win the coveted competition for their country.

With the judges now deliberating, the announcement of the final Team GB members is expected soon, so watch this space.
Image © Meat Management

Winner of Premier Young Butcher 2017 Competition Announced at Meatup

Four talented young butchers showcased their skills at Meatup, in a fight to win the title of Premier Young Butcher 2017, a competition hosted by the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders. After an exhausting day James Gracey, of Quails Butchers, Northern Ireland, emerged triumphant. James who studies with Southern Regional College, saw off competition from Jack Eagles of C Lidgate of London, Elsie Yardley of Hards of Halstead and Thomas Lea of Walter Smith, who was declared runner-up.

Head Judge and CEO of the Institute of Meat, Keith Fisher said of the event,

“Competitions like this are important for the next generation. The skill level of these young people is nothing short of inspiring.”
Image © Meat Management

Award winning Butchery employer stresses value of apprenticeships

Lucianne Allen, Sales and Marketing Director of Aubrey Allen gave an impassioned speech at industry event Meatup, on how the Butchery Apprenticeship not only provided genuine career opportunities for young people, but also provided the means to drive businesses forward too.

As Chair of the Trailblazer Group which developed the Level 2 Butcher Standard, she stressed the value of trades like Butchery. Mastering the craft of butchery deserves respect as a career goal in itself, she said, for the specialist skills and knowledge it demands. Progressing onto other roles within meat businesses, such as technical or management is also a real option that many apprentices might consider after completing their butchery apprenticeship.

For further information about apprenticeships and qualifications in the meat industry, contact the Food and Drink Training and Education Council.
Image © Meat Management