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. 

Institute of Meat and Worshipful Company of Butchers Annual Awards 2019 is a Royal Celebration

In a tradition dating back over quarter of a century, the Institute of Meat (IoM) and Worshipful Company of Butchers (WCB) today awarded the achievements of apprentices, employers and training providers at their annual awards, held at The Painters Hall, London. The event, a highlight in the meat industry calendar was attended by a very special guest of honour this year, HRH The Princess Royal, Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Butchers and Fellow of the Institute of Meat. Over a hundred guests attended the annual awards and 12 category winners were presented with their awards by HRH The Princess Royal and Institute of Meat Chief Executive, Keith Fisher (MB.Inst.M).

The awards and winners were:

Best New Apprentice sponsored by Seymour Manufacturing International Ltd – Rosie Masters

Best Retail ButcheryApprentice sponsored by National Craft Butchers – Robert Smith

Best Independent Retailer Meat Apprentice sponsored by Paul Edkins Memorial Cup and Worshipful Company of Butchers – Sally Capstick

Best Multiple Retailer Butchery Apprentice sponsored by Sealed Air Ltd – Dan Turner

Best Meat Processing Apprentice sponsored by Oakfield (Foods) Ltd – Jack White

Best Abattoir Worker / Apprentice sponsored by Windsor Food Machinery Ltd  – Jonathan Seville

Best Poultry Apprentice sponsored by Worshipful Company of Poulters – Eva Szabo

Best Meat Apprentice Showing Real Management Potential sponsored by Kenneth Jenkins Challenge Cup and Worshipful Company of Butchers – Joseph O’Sullivan

Lord Graham Endeavour Award sponsored by Food Manufacture – Samuel Newey

Best Company Training Scheme sponsored by  Fred Mallion Bowl and Institute of Meat – ABP UK Talent Academy

Best Meat Training Provider of the Year sponsored by Worshipful Company of Butchers – MEAT Ipswich Ltd

Champion Meat Apprentice of the Year sponsored by Meat Management Magazine – Jack White

Our Award winners with Graham Baker, Bill Jermey and Keith Fisher

The overall winner, the ‘Champion Meat Apprentice of the Year’, chosen from the individual categories, was Jack White, from Cranswick Country Foods. He receives a winner’s trophy and certificate, a year’s free membership of the IoM and an additional cash prize of £500. Commenting on this year’s annual awards Keith Fisher said, ‘These awards are always a special occasion, in that we are safe-guarding the future of the meat industry. Many of the recipients of today’s awards will go on to become the next generation of meat industry leaders.’

HRH The Princess Royal with Jack White, winner of Champion Meat Apprentice of the Year

In addition, 7 experienced butchers who had met the Institute of Meat’s rigorous criteria were awarded IoM accredited Master Butcher status, MB.Inst.M. They were: David Corbett, Josh Douglas, Peter Horton, Simon Hoyland, Timothy Rowe, Jon Rae and Tony De Sousa. De Sousa and Rae became the first South African butchers to be recognised in this way by the IoM.

IoM Accredited Master Butchers with Graham Baker, Bill Jermey and Keith Fisher
Boars Head Ceremony 2018

Crowds of onlookers, including members of the Institute of Meat and London tourists, enjoyed the annual Boars Head Ceremony in London on Wednesday 28th November, when Liverymen from the Worshipful Company of Butchers, led by this year’s Master, Graham Baker, processed the traditional Boars Head to the new Lord Mayor, who received it at Mansion House.

The ceremony dates back to 1343, when the presentation of a Boars Head was agreed in payment for a parcel of land acquired by the Butchers Company. It takes place each November, shortly after the new Lord Mayor has taken up his year of office.

The Butchers have a Boar’s Head prepared and suitably decorated so that it can be carried shoulder-high through the City streets. This year the procession set off from the Pewterers’ Hall with a drum band leading the way and a police escort to stop London traffic.



Upon reaching the Mansion House the party of butchers and guests are invited into the building, where the Lord Mayor officially receives the Boar’s Head. This year Liverymen were welcomed by Peter Estlin and Lindy Estlin the new Lord and Lady Mayoress.

At the ceremony in Mansion House the meat is sliced off the head and served to all attending, which is washed down with suitably festive drinks.

2018 Annual Golden Haggis Awards

CEO Keith Fisher had the honour and privilege of being invited to judge the 2018 Annual Golden Haggis Awards which were held at the Oban Distillery in Scotland on Sunday 25th November 2018.

Haggis makers from all over Scotland, from Dingwall in the north to Dumfries in the south met the added challenge of a haggis from Cumbria.

Keith, along with fellow judges, chef/forager Gary Goldie of WildFood and Visit Scotland food writer Neil Robertson decided the winner of the 2018 Golden Haggis Award was McCaskies of Wemyss Bay.

Others recognised in the Golden Haggis Awards were:-
Runner Up: John M Munro, Dingwall
Runner Up: Crombie’s of Edinburgh
Finalist: Boghall Butchers, Bathgate
Finalist: JB Houston, Dumfries

Above: John Akroid from McCaskies is presented with both trophies by Douglas Scott and Keith Fisher.


IoM / WCB Annual Awards 2019 date confirmed

Thursday 21st February 2019 sees the annual Institute of Meat and WCB Annual Awards take place in London which will be a celebration of achievement for outstanding learners, apprentices or providers.

This is a great opportunity to nominate your most outstanding learner for a prize at the coveted meat industry awards organised by IoM and WCB.

For further information please contact Sheryl Horne at the Institute of Meat (

World Butchers’ Challenge

The Institute of Meat continues to support the World Butchers’ Challenge which is taking place 21st March 2018 in Belfast at IFEX.  The team of six, selected from all over Great Britain, have been regularly honing their butchery skills in readiness for the 12 country challenge.  Some countries that are participating include Greece, USA, Canada, Italy, France, Australia and Bulgaria making this one of the biggest butchery challenges of all time.  To ensure you don’t miss out register  your attendance in advance, click here for more information.


IoM WCB Annual Prizegiving dates confirmed

Thursday 22nd February sees the annual Institute of Meat and WCB Prizegiving take place in London which will be a celebration of achievement for outstanding learners, apprentices or providers.

This is a great opportunity to nominate your most outstanding learner for a prize at the coveted meat industry awards organised by IoM and WCB.

For further information please contact Sheryl Horne at the Institute of Meat.

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.