IoM and WCB Annual Awards are back, and better than ever

After COVID forced last years event to be cancelled, today the IoM and the WCB were finally able to celebrate and thank some outstanding members of the meat industry at their prestigious Annual Awards and prize-giving luncheon in  the Butchers’ Hall.

Despite some sections being hit hard by COVID 19, the meat industry worked relentlessly throughout the pandemic to serve local communities and the wider British public.

It was then a fitting tribute and an honour to welcome a very special guest this year, HRH The Princess Royal, Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Butchers and Fellow of the Institute of Meat.

Bill Jermey, Keith Fisher and Margaret Boanas welcoming HRH The Princess Royal to The Butchers’ Hall

Over a hundred guests gathered in the Livery Hall to see apprentices, training providers and employers receive their awards, presented by Her Royal Highness and Keith Fisher (F.Inst.M), Chief Executive of the Institute of Meat.

Also presiding over the awards was Margaret Boanas, Master of the Worshipful Company since September 2021 and following in HRH The Princess Royal’s footsteps as one of only three women to have held this post.

In total 12 awards were given. The awards and winners were:

Best New Apprentice
Seymour Manufacturing International Ltd
Sarah Porter
Best Retail Butchery Apprentice
National Craft Butchers
Josh Huitson
Best Independent Retailer Meat Apprentice
Edkins Family and WCB
Robert Darling
Best Multiple Retailer Butchery Apprentice
Letitia Redfern
Best Meat Processing Apprentice
Oakfield (Foods) Ltd
Leon Edwards
Best Abattoir Worker /Apprentice
ABP Food Group
Ionela Bacioiu
Best Apprentice Showing Management Potential in a Manufacturing Environment
Worshipful Company of Poulters
Sean McGrath
Best Meat Apprentice Showing Real Management Potential
Jenkins Family and WCB
Austin Howell
Lord Graham Endeavour    Award
Meat Trades Journal
Jonty Larkin
Best Company Training
Windsor Food Machinery Ltd
Cooper Foods (Andover) Ltd
Best Meat Training Provider      of the Year
M.E.A.T. (Ipswich) Ltd
Champion Meat Apprentice of the Year
Meat Management Magazine
Austin Howell

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’, Austin Howell of Priory Farm Shop, Redhill, Surrey, received a winner’s trophy and certificate, a year’s free membership of the IoM and an additional cash prize of £500. Howell impressed the judges with how quickly he had progressed from being a young apprentice to taking the first step on the management ladder with his employer.

Austin Howell receiving Champion Meat Apprentice of the Year Award from HRH The Princess Royal

Also celebrated on the day was the awarding of seven new Institute of Meat accredited Master Butchers. In the last three decades of the awards less than 60 butchers have been awarded accredited Master Butcher status as the awarding criteria is rigorous and applications are invited only from very experienced and skilful butchers. The new IoM Master Butchers are:

Marc Murphy (MB.Inst.M) – Dunbia Group

Jason Moore (MB.Inst.M) – Newlyn’s Farm Shop, Hook

Peter Howarth (MB.Inst.M) – Booker Group

Kevin King (MB.Inst.M) – Booker Group

Roy Mason (MB.Inst.M) – Booker Group

Roderick Frew (MB.Inst.M) – Barr’s Butchers, Ballymena

John Mutch (MB.Inst.M) – Cutting Edge Services, Chorley

Master of the Worshipful Company, Margaret Boanas, was also awarded a Fellowship of the Institute of Meat on the day, and Food Hygiene Consultant, Paul Bache MBE, became a Honorary Fellow.

Commenting on the day, Fisher said,

‘It’s wonderful to be back and to be able to recognise the achievements of so many talented individuals. It has been an incredibly tough two years, everyone involved in the meat industry has worked harder than ever before.

The awards are of course about celebrating success, but the Institute of Meat is also about fellowship. This is especially important in the hard times we’ve had recently and we’re all looking forward to a brighter year ahead, including the happy occasion of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.’

Chairman of the Institute of Meat, Bill Jermey added,

‘I’ve been involved with the prize-giving for many years, but it has never felt more important to acknowledge and reward achievement. These apprentices really stepped up to the plate in unprecedented times. I’m especially delighted that HRH The Princess Royal joined us to congratulate them.’

Award winners, Master Butchers and Fellows – The Butchers’ Hall 24th February 2022

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