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Rural Economy

Butchery Skills - a dying art?

Report Segment: Butchery Skills

The Meat Ipswich View

The average age of British butchers is 59 according to Jane Dale Owner of Meat Ipswich. So there is a huge amount to do to ensure that the next generation of butchers are trained. However Jane Dale comments on the state of the retail butchers market by referring to the change over the last 20 years. In the 80s and 90s there were around 24,000 butchers shops in England. That number has now dwindled to just 6,000. So whilst training young people in the trade is certainly important, the urgency is somewhat mitigated by the substantial fall in independent vacancies. Of course supermarkets will have their own butchery training requirements but much of the boning work is now done in meat processing factories by semi skilled meat labourers and those who train up to serve customers in supermarkets usually have to multiskill across a range of food preparation areas.

Specialist butchery, could become a dying art if independent butchers dont find a new generation of willing apprentices to learn the trade and take over the retail businesses.