Lincolnshire butcher hopes to represent country in ‘meat Olympics’ next year

A Lincolnshire butcher hopes to represent Great Britain in the ‘meat olympics’ next year. Ben Tindale, manager of G Shearer and Son Butchers in Holbeach, represented the country during the World Butcher’s Challenge in 2022, and hopes to do it again next year.

The challenge is a butchery competition which brings together the best of the industry, with butchers across the globe competing for the title of the world’s best. Ben, who has worked in the industry for almost 20 years, took part in the competition a few years ago when it was held in California, USA, and described it as “the most surreal experience in the best way.”

The 35-year-old from Spalding explained: “It was very much an honour to be able to represent our industry as a country on that stage, it is the biggest stage for butchery as a whole. On Instagram, there is a strong community of butchers around the world who will talk and share ideas and networks at these events.

“As much as you think it’s the competition that is the most important thing I took away from it was getting to meet everyone in person.” Whilst Ben’s team did not win, he did achieve an individual award for the best pork product of that year, which was a pineapple corset.

Describing the competition, he continued: “It’s often referred to as the Olympics of meat for butchery. I joined the team back in 2021, so I was originally invited to be part of the team, but the process of joining this time round is quite different as there are a lot more industry partners on board and there is an application process.”

After dozens of applications, there is now a shortlist of 19 butchers, but only 10 will be able to represent Great Britain at the competition next year. Which will take place in Paris, France on March 30 and March 31, 2025, and then awards will be presented on April 1, 2025.

Ben continued: “There will be a team event where six butchers, which is what I hope to be a part of if I qualify, and then two butchers who are 35 or younger and two apprentice butchers who will be competing individually.” Whilst many people think that the judging is based on the end product, Ben shared that they are actually “judged on every aspect of your work.”

This includes every stage of getting the animal carcass to the end product in three and a half hours, as well as things like food hygiene and keeping your workstation tidy, keeping your uniform clean.

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