The World Butchers’ Challenge organising council has extended the invitation to the entire world as the competition enters its seventh year.
Rod Slater, New Zealand chair of World Butchers’ Challenge organising council, said: “This competition has grown from strength to strength, gaining global industry and media interest. I have been personally involved in the World Butchers’ Challenge from its inception and have seen first-hand the many benefits it has contributed to our industry, here in New Zealand.”
The 2018 World Butchers’ Challenge will be held from 16 to 21 March in Belfast, Ireland at the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) show, hosted by Butchery Excellence Scheme. The competition will be preceded by a five-day study tour of Ireland’s butchers’ shops.
A cut above the rest
According to Beef + Lamb New Zealand, there has been strong interest from six other countries, mostly from Europe. Currently confirmed to enter are Australia, France, Ireland, New Zealand and Great Britain. Nations have until 21 March 2017 to enter the competition.
The 2016 World Butchers’ Challenge was won by newcomer France, knocking three-times winner New Zealand’s Pure South Sharp Blacks off the top spot.
To get the edge on the competition and attempt to reclaim its crown, New Zealand has already revealed its team for 2018 (see box), while Ireland has announced a shortlist of 15 butchers from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which will be reduced to 10 names before the final six that will represent Ireland are decided upon.
A spokesperson for the New Zealand team told GlobalMeatNews: “The Pure South Sharp Blacks are more determined than ever to show the rest of the world what Kiwis are made of as the competition continues to grow. We Kiwis are a proud bunch and to be able to lift the trophy on the other side of the world would mean a lot. We’ve done it before and the team are hoping they can do it again in 2018 although the competition will certainly be a lot tougher with new teams eager to showcase their own skills.”
To enter the 2018 World Butchers’ Challenge, click here.
The 2018 Pure South Sharp Blacks are: