Kinross butcher Hunters of Kinross has won silver in The Scotch National Butchers Challenge after fending off competition from across Scotland.
Teams are judged on displays that promote Scotch beef, Scotch lamb and speciality selected pork by a panel of international butchers.
Hunters of Kinross, which opened in 2010, has a reputation for high quality meat and eye-catching displays.
Winning many awards in the past including National Butcher Shop of the Year in 2017, owners Pamela and Iain Hunter saw the opportunity to showcase the talents of their team.
Representing Hunters in the challenge was Iain (56), new butcher Ryan Tierney (27) and apprentice Paul McLaughlin (21).
Delighted with outcome
Pamela hailed new start Ryan for his pivotal role in the silver-medal-winning display.
She said: “Ryan has been around a few butchers and seen new ideas and way to present meat.
“Using Ryan’s new skills and techniques of presenting new products the team worked hard to display and decorate the cabinet.
“The colourful decorations were beautiful, using edible flowers, roots, vegetables and carvery and we are delighted to be second.”
This year’s entry was Pamela and Iain’s first attempt at the competition and they are hopeful that next year they can win gold.
The couple also view the challenge as an opportunity to put their employees forward and showcase their talents on a national level.
Pamela said: “We wanted to enter to give them a passion and drive for the industry and to show them how competitive it can be.”
Hunters of Kinross has recently benefited from a Perth and Kinross Council scheme to help youths into work after the pandemic.
Pamela and Iain took on apprentice Paul in October last year to help him out of unemployment and have seen massive changes over the past six months.
Pamela said: “He has come so far from being a young person who didn’t really know where he was going in life.
“He has now found his passion and he loves what he is doing.”
With butchers on the high street providing new products and thriving, it is more challenging for young people to move into professional butchering.
Pamela believes the apprenticeship is a good way of helping people into the industry and educate them on the craft of butchering.
She said: “People think butchering is just getting a bit of meat in front of you and chopping it up, but there is a lot more to it than that.
“It is a craft in itself, but with the way supermarkets are if we don’t have young people coming through it will be a dying trade.”
Iain, Ryan and Paul will now represent Scotland in a national competition against winners from Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
With the dates of the competition and requirements yet to be announced the team are celebrating their recent achievements and are looking forward to the next stage.
Pamela hopes that through this competition one of the men may be considered for the British team for next year’s butchering world championship.