Welsh butcher takes on the best in WorldSkills final

North East Wales butcher Ben Roberts is set for the biggest challenge of his career as he takes on six other finalists in the 2021 Butchery WorldSkills UK contest.

The prestigious contest, to be held at Reaseheath College, Nantwich on November 11 and 12, will see Britain and Ireland’s finest butchers challenged across a range of different tasks to demonstrate their skills, including innovation; creativity; presentation; work ethic; method and approach to tasks; carcass and primal utilisation; and waste and safe and hygienic working practice.

Roberts is a member of the Craft Butchery Team Wales, manages M.E. Evans Traditional Butchers in Overton on Dee, and is also a member of HCC’s Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef Butchers’ Club. He won his place at the final through virtual heats where butchers were judged online.

“I have wanted to compete at WorldSkills for several years but, until this year, have always struggled to dedicate the time needed to the competition to make it possible,” he said.

I have been selected to represent Craft Butchery Team Wales at the World Butchers Challenge next September 2022 and the WorldSkills competition will allow me to develop key skills and experience to take forward to this global stage.

“Hopefully the skills and experience I gain from both competitions can be brought back into the business and one day allow me to run my own shop.”

HCC’s senior market development officer Laura Howells said:

Following the success of previous Welsh entrants in this competition such as Matthew Edwards and Peter Rushforth, it’s great to see Ben in the final this year.

“Now more than ever the sector depends on highly skilled butchers, in independent shops and in larger processors. Good butchery drives product innovation, and helps to reduce food waste.”