Premier Young Butcher 2016


James Henshaw of Taylor’s Farm Shop in Lathom, Lancashire is Britain’s best Young Butcher, winning the title of PREMIER YOUNG BUTCHER 2016 by beating seven other elite butcher apprentices at the finals of the PREMIER YOUNG BUTCHER COMPETITION organised by the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders (NFMFT) at FOODEX at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham last Tuesday.


PYB 2016 James Henshaw

Premier Young Butcher 2016 James Henshaw with NFMFT President Jim Sperring (left) and Master of the Worshipful Company of butchers Patricia Dart (right)

The five hour, six category competition recognised as the most demanding skills competition open to UK butchery apprentices saw eight of the nation’s top apprentices demonstrate their skills in seam butchery and creating displays of Ready to Eat, Stuffed Roast, Barbecue and Kitchen Ready products.

 With fourteen trophies up for grabs the competitors were assessed for craft skill, innovation and sound working practices by industry experts Danny Upson of Dalziel, AHDB Pork Product Manager, CEO of the Institute of Meat and International Butchery Judge Keith Fisher and UK National Team Coach, industry consultant and RAPS (UK) representative Viv Harvey.


PYB 2016 Group 

NFMFT President Jim Sperring with (left to right) Harry Smith, Premier Young Butcher 2016 James Henshaw, Erin Conroy, Stuart Rankin, James Gracey, Elsie Yardley, Runner-up Premier Young Butcher 2016 Dylan Gillespie and James Taylor.

Eighteen year old James, a level two Meat Ipswich apprentice and the youngest competitor in the competition demonstrated dominance over others WINNING three of the six categories for the Ready to Eat, Barbeque and Display categories as well as being HIGHLY COMMENDED for Seam Butchery.

PYBC 2016 RUNNER UP was twenty year old Butchery World Skills 2015 Bronze Medallist Dylan Gillespie working at Clogher Valley Meats in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. He got second place by WINNING Kitchen Ready and getting HIGHLY COMMENDED in the Stuffed Roast categories.

Also WINNING on the day for his Seam Butchery and being HIGHLY COMMENDED for his Barbeque display was eighteen year old Stratford upon Avon catering student Harry Smith from "Chefs Butcher" Aubrey Allen, working in their shop in Warwick Road, Leamington Spa.

 Another Meat Ipswich Level Two apprentice also celebrating working at 2015 Meat Trades Journal (MTJ) Butcher Shop of the Year Simpsons of Heckington, Lincolnshire was twenty year old James Taylor WINNING the Stuffed Roast category and picking up a HIGHLY COMMENDED for his Ready to Eat product. James has an FDQ Level Two in Meat and Poultry and Food Safety as well as Level Three in Supervising Food Safety (Catering) and is currently studying Level Three in Meat and Poultry Industry Skills. Like his boss, James was himself at the MTJ finals in the MTJ Young Butcher of the Year Competition last November.

Going back to Scotland with a smile was Erin Conroy from Falleninch Farm Shop in Stirling. At Twenty Three she is a Scottish Training Level Three Meat and Poultry Apprentice studying Environmental Health and Safety. Erin picked up a HIGHLY COMMENDED in the Display category.

Also happy was Northern Ireland's James Gracey of Quails Butchers of Dromore who got HIGHLY COMMENDED in the Kitchen Ready category. Twenty year old James is a Southern Regional College Level Three Food Industry Skills apprentice who after just two years in the trade has Level Two Butchery and Hygiene while currently studying Level Four Health and Hygiene.

The remaining FINALISTS, narrowly missing out, awarded certificates and medals were Scottish Training Level Three Meat and Poultry apprentice and 2015 Scottish Meat Skills Finalist and twenty one year old stable mate to Erin at Falleninch Farm Shop, Stuart Rankin. And twenty two year old Meat Ipswich Level Two Meat and Poultry Processing, Level Two Food Safety in Retail, Level Two HACCP and Level Three Food Hygiene student Elsie Yardley of Priors Hall Farm Shop near Dunmow in Essex.

Speaking at the presentations, South London Butcher and NFMFT President JIM SPERRING said "it's great to see young people with the sort of skills demonstrated here today. Full marks to them all, They're a credit to the trade and I'm sure they all have great futures ahead of them!"

Presenting the competitiors with certificates, medals and trophies alongside NFMFT President Jim Sperring on behalf of sponsors were Keith Fisher the Meat Product Manager for AHDB Pork, Mike Richardson Independemt Retail Sector Manager for AHDB Beef & Lamb, Terry Jones for Cambrian Training, Bill Jermey Chairman of the Institute of Meat, Ian Mackway General Manager for RAPS (UK), Gordon King for Quality Meat Scotland, Andy Lea for Weddel Swift and Master Patricia Dart on behalf of the Worshipful Company of Butchers.

The Premier Young Butcher Competition 2016 organised by the NFMFT was hosted by William Reed Media at the FOODEX Exhibition at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, Warwickshire.