British Charcuterie Live Awards 2020/2021

Winners of the British Charcuterie Live Awards 2020/21 announced

It proved an outstanding year in spite of the challenges British Charcuterie Producers are facing. With over 100 producers entering more than 300 products into the nine classesthe judges were struck by the exceptional quality and range.

For more details on winners, please click on the link below:

IoM / WCB Annual Awards 2021 Postponed

As a valued supporter of our annual awards I am writing to update you regarding the 2021 annual prize-giving which was due to be held at the Butchers’ Hall on Thursday 25th February 2021.  Due to the current circumstances regarding the Covid 19 pandemic and uncertainty surrounding them we have decided to postpone our annual awards to February 2022.

Although the awards could be presented via video link, it was felt that the sense of occasion and experience of the day would be very much missed by the winners and recipients of the awards.

I would like to convey my sincere thanks to you for your support to date and hope that you will continue to support us again when we, all being well, resume the awards in February 2022.

Food Awards product judging date change


Lockdown for England, recently announced by the Government, has impacted on the product judging arrangements for the popular FMT Food Industry Awards, which were due to take place at the Regional Food Academy test kitchens later in November.

Harper Adams Regional Food Academy has confirmed that the test kitchens will temporarily close during the lockdown period.

New dates for product judging have already been confirmed for later in January 2021 and in the circumstances the product nomination deadline has also been extended to 11th January 2021. With a new deadline available, organisers confirm that additional product nominations are still welcome and that all those who have already nominated products have been informed about the new delivery dates.

Commenting on the news, lead organiser for the Food Industry Awards, Sharon Yandell said: “We have a record level of entries and we are set for a truly fantastic ceremony next year when winners are announced. The initiative goes from strength to strength.

“Of course, this is disappointing and frustrating. However, in considering new dates we have decided not to clash with the build up to Christmas in December, a very busy time for the industry, so have moved product judging into January. This still leaves plenty of time for administration prior to the ceremony scheduled for May, when all the results will be announced.”

To enter products, go to or for more information contact Sharon Yandell.

For more information on the Food Management Today Industry Awards visit their website

Extra Government funding available to employers for taking on apprentices

As part of the Governments ‘Plan for Jobs’ they have announced special incentives for employers taking on new apprentices. The one-off incentives are designed to help generate job opportunities and boost the economy in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

From now until 31st January 2021 employers are eligible to receive an additional £2,000 for every new apprentice they take on aged under 25 years. The Government has extended the offer to those aged over 25, enabling employers to reclaim £1,500 for every older apprentice they recruit within this period. The scheme is also available for apprentices who have been made redundant.

The payment will be made in 2 equal instalments: 50% after the apprentice completes 90 days of their apprenticeship and the remaining 50% after 365 days. To get the full payment, the apprenticeship must last for at least one year.

The special incentive payment is in addition to the £1,000 employers with less than 50 employees can already get for taking on an apprentice who is:

  • aged 16 to 18 years old
  • under 25 and has an education, health and care plan or has been in the care of their local authority

To claim the payment employers must register their new apprentice with the Apprenticeship Service. As well as claiming funding the Apprenticeship Service can also help employers recruit apprentices and find training providers in their area. Create an apprenticeship service account here.

Turnbull’s Robert Darling, Young Butcher of the Year in Q Guild Butchers Awards

Butcher Robert Darling, who works at Turnbull’s of Alnwick, has been crowned Young Butcher of the Year in Q Guild Butchers 2020 Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards.

The 18-year-old becomes the inaugural winner of the coveted title, sponsored by the Institute of Meat, open to all aged under 24 and introduced for the first time this year to both recognise and reward the industry’s rising stars. Part of the brief was that nominees must have developed a product sold in the shop

Rob’s own product, which had first picked up a best in category Diamond award, was Pork Wellington, described as a twist on the traditional Wellington using a pork cannon, butterflied open and stuffed with chorizo and morcilla, with the pork rolled back up as a roulade. It is encased in puff pastry lightly brushed with seasoned oil. The up-and-coming young butcher even developed the cooking guidelines at home.

Judges were mightily impressed, describing Rob as a considerable asset to Turnbull’s. They noted: “This type of experience will prove invaluable as he progresses through his career, which is looking very bright. His attention to detail was evident in the Pork Wellington he produced. It was technically excellent and performed well when cooked. The judges really loved the taste and the added chorizo and morcilla. Well done.”

 Rob joined Turnbull’s as an apprentice butcher in May last year at a time of major expansion for the business, with its long-established family-run shop in Market Street recently supplemented by a brand-new custom-designed Northumbrian Food Hall on Willowburn Retail Park. There is also a standalone factory cutting plant, where all of the raw meat production takes place.

Owner Mark Turnbull, a former Q Guild Butchers national chairman, said: “In the short time Rob has been with us, the business has evolved arguably more than at any other point than in the previous 140 years we have been trading. He has met the changes superbly and with a terrific attitude.

“He has worked across all three of our sites and excelled at each. He is predominantly based at the cutting plant, where we are developing his knife skills, having him working on pork, lamb and beef whole carcasses. He has a great level of confidence and competence when he is set a task.

“Rob has also worked in both shops, setting counters, serving customers and preparing kitchen ready products. He shows great promise with his attention to detail and we were very pleased with his innovation for Young Butcher of the Year.

“We have tried the product in both shops and it has sold extremely well, and customers have provided some marvellous feedback. We are extremely pleased with how Rob has progressed since starting and we see a very bright future for a young man who takes a lot of pride and pleasure in his work -a real future star!”

Rob himself commented: “I am very pleased to have been asked to develop products, particularly for the Smithfield Star Awards, I feel that I have really settled into the job and that I have found a craft that I have a great deal of passion for.”

Sponsor, the Institute of Meat, will give Rob 1 year’s free membership, entitling him to join an important asset to the meat industry who’s aim is to help educate and promote young butchers. He also receives a Diamond Award framed certificate, a wooden ‘meat’ chopping board, steak knife and Q Guild apron.

For the first time this year, the revamped Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards had a brand-new star rating system through which 3***, 2** or 1* certificates were awarded to products achieving a set standard. Diamond awards are then achieved by pitching all the 3*** products against each other to find the ‘Category Champion’.

In fact, Turnbull’s Butchers achieved four product awards in total, including two further 3*** and a category finalist*. The other awards were:

CategoryProductStar Awards
Innovative SausageNorthumbrian Venison Sausage*3***
Naked Steak8oz Sirloin Steak3***
Traditional SausageNorthumberland Sausage2*


From 220 individual products entered from 29 Q Guild butchers across the length and breadth of the country, a total of 73 achieved 3***, 52 2** and 44 1*, They were judged blind by an independent panel of food and meat sector experts headed up by Institute of Meat Chief Executive Keith Fisher

Butchers Q Guild General Manager Claire Holland said: “These awards are a great way of showcasing our members and their achievements. They work really hard to develop outstanding products and to keep up with consumer trends therefore to have it topped off with an industry judged accolade is the icing on the cake, for which they should be very proud.”

Lishman’s Butchers in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, were crowned the overall 2020 Smithfield ‘Star’ Awards supreme champion with their Chilli Cheese Dogs, first chosen as the best product in the Innovative Sausage category.

Smithfield ‘Star’ Award sponsors were Lucas Ingredients, Dalziel, Innovative Food Ingredients, British Charcuterie Live, Weddel Swift, Verstegen, Taste of Game, Scobie & Junor and Institute of Meat.

Home at last! IoM / WCB Annual Awards 2020

After five long years away, today the IoM and WCB recognised the achievements of some outstanding members of the meat industry back in their spiritual home, The Butchers Hall.

Over a hundred guests gathered in the dramatically refurbished Livery Hall to see apprentices, training providers and employers receive their awards, presented by Keith Fisher (F.Inst.M), Chief Executive of the Institute of Meat. Also presiding over the awards were Tim Dumenil, Master of The Worshipful Company of Butchers and Bill Jermey, Chairman of the Institute of Meat.

In total 11 category awards were given. The awards and winners were:


Best New Apprentice
Seymour Manufacturing International Ltd
Elliot Tong
Best Retail Butchery Apprentice
National Craft Butchers
Austin Howell
Best Independent Retailer Meat Apprentice
Paul Edkins Memorial Cup
Worshipful Company of Butchers
Jack Western
Best Multiple Retailer Butchery
Sealed Air Ltd
Harley English
Best Meat Processing
Oakfield (Foods) Ltd
Harry Pritchard
Best Abattoir Worker /
Kaspars Matis
Best Meat Apprentice Showing Real
Management Potential
Kenneth Jenkins Challenge Cup Worshipful Company of Butchers
Samuel Cooke
Lord Graham Endeavour
Meat Trades Journal
Christopher Sheardown
Best Company Training
Windsor Food Machinery
Cranswick Country Foods PLC
Best Meat Training Provider
of the Year
Worshipful Company
of Butchers
Shropshire Training Ltd
Champion Meat Apprentice
of the Year
Meat Management Magazine
Jack Weston


The category winners each received a cheque for £250, a framed certificate and a years free membership of the Institute of Meat.

The overall winner, ‘Champion Meat Apprentice of the Year’, Jack Weston, received a winner’s trophy and certificate, a year’s free membership of the IoM and an additional cash prize of £500.

Jack Weston being presented with winner’s trophy by The Master, Tim Dumenil

Following success at the IoM’s rigorous assessment, five experienced butchers were also awarded Institute of Meat accredited, ‘Master Butcher’ status. They join an elite club, whose membership today reached fifty nationwide. Receiving their accredited Master Butcher status were: Joseph Marshall (MB.Inst.M), Martin Frazer (MB.Inst.M), James Richardson (MB.Inst.M), Anthony Langton (MB.Inst.M) and Aodh McKenna (MB.Inst.M).

Lastly, industry consultant, Viv Harvey, currently Team GB’s coach for the World Butchers Challenge 2020, was announced as a Fellow of the Institute of Meat, in recognition of his dedication to the education and training of young butchers over the past 45 years.

Commenting on the day, Fisher said,

“All our apprentice award winners showed exceptional promise and they should be very proud of achieving their awards. I hope that they will look to the Master Butchers awarded today and be inspired to keep learning and aim high in their future careers. Now, perhaps more than ever, we welcome the boost of creativity and optimism that butchery apprentices like those awarded today bring to the meat industry.”

Award Winners and Master Butchers, 21st February 2020

For more information about the prize-giving, or how to nominate an apprentice please contact Sheryl Horne at the Institute of Meat,

IoM Judging at Meat Management ‘Meat Industry Awards 2020’

Product judging, with IoM’s Keith Fisher as chief judge, for this year’s MM Meat Industry Awards has begun as many of the 1,000 products entered into this year’s competition began to arrive at The Regional Food Academy at Harper Adams University, despite the ongoing difficulties presented by Covid-19.

The judges and home economists are in for a busy few days as the products entered are evaluated based on the exacting criteria used every year.

Awards organiser Emma Cash added: “I’d like to thank everyone who has made that extra special effort to get their entries to the test kitchens. We’ve a way to go yet but I am looking forward to the Awards ceremony and dinner, which we have now rescheduled for 2nd September when the winners, finalists and highly commended products will be revealed.”


IoM’s Keith Fisher at Annual FMT Food Industry Awards 2020

The annual FMT Food Industry Awards recognise the hard work and excellence of food processors and manufacturers across the UK food sector as well as trade organisations, ingredients suppliers, machinery and equipment companies, packaging, product innovations, people and training.

The awards were presented at a prestigious luncheon and ceremony, which took place at the five star Royal Garden Hotel, London on Thursday 12th March 2020 and, for the first time, it was hosted by celebrity chef Michel Roux Jr. Many of the UK’s leading companies and retailers participate and key food industry movers and shakers come together at the Awards Ceremony to celebrate the best of the best.

Institute of Meat CEO Keith Fisher presenting the award for “Best Equipment / Machinery” at the Food Management Awards Today