Codie-Jo chops her way to best butcher final

Codie-Jo Carr receives her certificate from judges Roger Kelsey and Viv Harvey in the regional heat
Codie-Jo Carr receives her certificate from judges Roger Kelsey and Viv Harvey in the regional heat

A Banbridge butcher has secured a coveted place at this year’s final of the Butchery WorldSkills UK Competition.

Codie-Jo Car (17) who lives in County Armagh and works for Fred Elliott Family Butchers in the town will be compete against five other butchers from Wales and England to be crowned the UK’s best butcher.

Each of the finalists were the top scoring butchers from regional heats held across the UK earlier this year.

In the final at WorldSkills UK Live, held at the NEC Birmingham from November 21-23, they will complete five tasks over two days in front of a live audience, which will test their skills to the limit.

The butchery competition is organised by award-winning Welshpool-based training provider Cambrian Training and supported by an Industry Steering Group. Sponsors are The Institute of Meat, The National Craft Butchers, The Worshipful Company of Butchers and Hybu Cig Cymru/Meat Promotion Wales.

Codie-Jo, whose family runs a small retail and wholesale meat business, has an ambition to carry on the family tradition by opening her own butcher’s shop.

Having qualified for the final through the Glasgow heat, she said: “This is my first big competition. I will do my best in the final and I hope that will be good enough to win the competition. It would be a real achievement to win it.”

Chris Jones, head of Cambrian Training’s food and drink business unit, is predicting a closely contested final and is delighted that a record number of female butchers including Codie-Jo entered this year’s competition.

“It’s great to see two talented and skilful female butchers in the final, which will hopefully raise awareness of the opportunities available within the industry and encourage other young women to follow in their footsteps and compete at the highest level in the UK,” he added.

The competition focuses on all the essential skills required for a successful career as a multi-skilled butcher within the food manufacturing industry. Butchers are tested for overall skill, innovation, creativity, presentation, work ethic, method and approach to tasks, carcass and primal utilisation, waste and safe and hygienic working practice.

Butchery is one of more than 60 skills to feature in WorldSkills UK Live. The competitions are designed by industry experts and focus on the highest UK and international standards.

To enter the competition, butchers must possess good knife and primary and secondary butchery skills, including seam butchery, with a minimum of six months practical experience, good tying and stringing skills, sausage making experience and the ability to work under pressure in front of an audience.

Butchers wishing to compete to become the UK’s best butcher 2020 may register at https://www.worldskillsuk.org/champions/national-skills-competitions/express-your-interest-in-worldskills-uk-competitions-2020