Meat Industry Competitions

The Worshipful Company of Butchers supports a variety of butchery competitions which are designed to stimulate and enhance, as well as demonstrate the craft skills and expertise inherent in our trade.

Competitions serve to hone the creative aspects of the butchery business to say nothing of the first class knife skills needed to attract, continue to attract and satisfy today’s discerning consumers.

We aim to provide opportunities for keen young butchery practitioners to showcase ideas and skills. Competing and demonstrating one’s expertise amongst peers in butchery competitions is a sure-fire way of progressing, earning a reputation, not only for yourself but for the business and industry you represent.

Premier Young Butcher

The following are the main competitions supported by WCB:

Premier Young Butcher

The Premier Young Butcher Competition (PYB) is owned and run by National Craft Butchers (previously the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders). Targeted at butchers under 23 years at the time of the competition, it is usually held within a trade exhibition and generates much attention, interest and excitement from delegates and experts alike.

The nature of the competition is such that entrants have an entire day to flex their creative muscles and skills in a range of categories, including:

  • Ready to Eat
  • Stuffed Roast
  • Seam Butchery
  • BBQ
  • Kitchen Ready
  • Display

This is a fantastic first opportunity for young people within the industry to take the first step on the competitive ladder. Many previous entrants have progressed to take part in the International Young Butchers' Competition and the Butchery World Skills UK Competition.

International Young Butchers Competition (IYBC)

The IYBC is an annual European competition run by the Brussels based International Butchers’ Confederation. The competition, spanning two days, takes place in a different host country every year. The disciplines are very similar to those of the PYB; which, in many ways, is used to nurture competitors for the IYBC. Several teams, comprising two craft butchers aged up to 25 years compete for the team prize and the title of International Young Butcher.

The competition categories include:

  • Ready to Eat
  • Stuffed Roast
  • Seam Butchery
  • BBQ
  • Kitchen Ready
  • Display

Butchery WorldSkills (UK) Competition

The Butchery WorldSkills competition is designed to promote butchery standards and raise the benchmark of craft skills across the industry, developing competence into excellence. It focuses on all skills required to pursue a successful career as a multi-skilled butcher within the food manufacturing industry.

Opportunities exist for competitors to participate locally, regionally and nationwide across the UK in the heats and the final round. At these events competitors undertake a number of practice activities based on everyday work tasks. The competitions test overall skill, innovation, creativity, presentation, work ethic, method and the approach to tasks as well as carcase/primal utilisation, waste, and safe, hygienic working practices.

The annual final, consisting of five tasks is completed over two days and judged in front of a live audience at the Skills Show at the NEC Birmingham in November.

To be eligible, competitors must have 10 years or less, working experience nor have achieved a level 4, or higher, in a Food Manufacturing Excellence qualification (or equivalent).

World Butchers Challenge (WBC)

The World Butchers Challenge originated, in 2011, as a competition between Australia and New Zealand with Britain entering, for the first time in 2013, with what became the ‘British Beefeaters’ team.

This biennial worldwide competition attracts 12 to 15 national teams with the British team consisting of six butchers from around the country in what is the ultimate competition. Most have competed regularly before, some from as far afield as Australia. The teams are allowed 3 hours, 15 minutes to break down a side of pork and beef, a whole lamb and five chickens to create an attractive, eye catching display of finished cuts and value-added products.

The experience, confidence and kudos gained in such competitions has enabled many young butchers to develop and run their own successful butchery businesses. Others have developed careers representing the shop they work in at product demonstrations, as well as giving butchery talks.

Without exception, all participants have established new friendships and returned to work stimulated by new ideas and experiences to the delight of their employers and customers.

Interested in more information about the competitions? Get in touch with the IOM:

Email: info@Iom.org.uk