Nominations open for the prestigious Annual Prize-giving – 24th Feb 2022

We are pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the prestigious Annual Prize-giving Luncheon and Awards, which will take place on Thursday 24th February 2022 at the Butchers’ Hall, London.

The annual prize-giving event has been running for over 25 years and has rewarded the achievement of over one thousand members of the meat industry since its inception.

As most of the individual awards are given to apprentices the prize-giving is the perfect opportunity for your talented apprentices to be recognised for their efforts. As well as being an inspiring experience and confidence boost for the apprentices themselves the awards can also generate valuable publicity for individual businesses. Professional photography and press releases are available to all winners to support this.

With 12 categories to choose from there’s plenty of opportunity for individuals and companies to win. Individual winners also take home a cheque for £250, a framed certificate and a year’s honorary membership of the Institute of Meat. In addition, the overall winner receives a cheque for £500. The categories next year include: Best Retail Butchery Apprentice, Best Independent Retailer Meat Apprentice, Best Multiple Retailer Butchery Apprentice and Best Meat Processing Apprentice. The final list of categories will be announced in due course.

Award winners from 2020 Prize-giving at the Butchers’ Hall, London

Commenting on the awards, Keith Fisher (F.Inst.M.), Chief Executive of the IoM and himself a fourth generation Master Butcher, said,

‘The prize-giving is a firm fixture in the meat and poultry industry calendar, and the positive feedback from the winners is always a delight to hear. We are committed to inspiring young people to join our industry and rewarding excellence where we see it.’

For nominations criteria and to nominate an apprentice or, for more information, please email Sheryl Horne

The deadline for nominations is 31st December 2021.


Download the nomination and criteria forms here:

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:

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

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
International Young Butcher Competition

Report by National Craft Butchers

Team UK’s James Gracey returned yesterday having out performed other elite European young butchers from Austria, France, Germany, Holland and Switzerland, finishing in the top three in the Roast’s category of the finals of the International Young Butcher Competition last weekend at the IFFA exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany.

James from M A Quail in Dromore Northern Ireland was repeatedly praised by Judges for high standards of workmanship throughout the competition with accolades for his ‘County Down sweet Mincemeat Pie’ in the Ready to Eat, his Barbecue selection and ‘Craigavon Roast’ in the Main Course category. Finishing third with his ‘Dromore and Quail Mini Roasts’ James added to the UK’s continuing success outperforming ‘Europe’s Elite’ joining previous UK high performers Luke Haigh of Bolster Moor Farm Shop in 2012, Andrew Brassington from Ludlow Food Centre in 2013 and Lucy Crawshaw of Taylors Farm Shop in 2016 also finishing in the top three in the Ready to Eat, Stuffed Roast and ‘Surprise’ categories.

Team Manager and National Craft Butchers (NCB) Chief Executive Roger Kelsey said, “the competition with changes in Seam Butchery and tighter rules and constraints in use of materials this year has been the toughest to date. Both Lennon and James raised their game exceeding all expectations against the best that Europe has and has ever offered in the ten years that we‘ve been involved in the competition”!

Twenty-three-year old James and nineteen-year-old Lennon Callister from Owen Taylor in Alfreton, Derbyshire underwent months of preparation under instruction from UK Team Coach Viv Harvey and international CIBC UK jury member Keith Fisher to compete in one of the closest competitions in years.

Twelve finalists spent two days under pressure demonstrating skills for innovation, precision and methodology across six categories with strict time constraints in front of an international jury of expert judges. As well as thousands of visitors from across the Globe on two of the busiest days of the exhibition with one of the French candidates finishing second overall and the two Dutch candidates getting first and third winning the Team Trophy.

As members of the International Butchers Confederation (CIBC) NCB organised sponsorship and training for a UK Team to compete in the 2019 competition hosted by the Deutscher Fleischer-Verband. Team UK 2019 was sponsored by Dalebrook, Dalziel, Institute of Meat (IoM), RAPS UK, Southern Regional College and the Worshipful Company of Butchers.

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.