Yorkshire butchers wow judges to take ten top awards

Butchers from Yorkshire were in the spotlight after scooping ten Champion titles at the BPEX regional roadshow and product evaluation event.

The event, at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate on 1 February, was attended by 60 butchers and farm shops from across Yorkshire and the North East who, between them, submitted 300 products for evaluation by a team of esteemed industry judges.

It was double delight for 20 year-old and fourth generation butcher Luke Haigh from Bolster Moor Farm Shop, whose triumph in the Young Sausage Maker category also saw his ‘Traditional Thick Pork Sausage’ go on to pick up the Overall Champion title. Luke, who first started helping out in the shop in his early teenage years and is working towards being part of the UK Team in the International Young Butcher Competition, now goes forward to the National Final in June, as well as the prestigious Champion of Champion’s competition.

In addition, the family run business was named champion of the Speciality Pork Sausage, Black Pudding and Ready Meal categories.

Luke’s father, Simon Haigh, co-owner of Bolster Moor Farm Shop said: “We’re delighted. We always do well in competitions, but this has to be our best roadshow record to date. It’s is a fantastic achievement for Luke, who has worked very hard and is also responsible for our category winning ‘Pork, Sage and Onion Sausage’ speciality sausage. He also had a hand in making the ‘Home Made Lamb Curry’ ready meal with our other young butcher Craig Rollinson.

Other Champions included Paul Flintoft Family Butchers of Kippax who enjoyed sizzling sausage success with their ‘Thick Pork Sausage’, the aptly named Trotters Farm Shop from Scarborough with highly prized ‘Dry Cured Back Bacon’ and Howden-based and fourth generation pig farmer Anna Longthorp, who triumphed with some glorious gammon.

Anna said: “I am over the moon with the awards from the BPEX roadshow. I’m very passionate about the pork I produce and for my products to be recognised by some of the most influential judges is fantastic.”

Butchers’ pies are proving popular and Yorkshire is home to three pie champions; J A Mounfield & Son of Selby, Voakes Pies of Whixley and Kendalls Farm Butchers, based in Pateley Bridge. Kendalls owner, Paul Kendall, summed up the mood from the butchers, he said: “I was made up when I found out we’d done so well. There were a lot of quality butchers at the roadshow, so it was a real achievement to come away with the Champion award.”

BPEX butchery and product development manager, Keith Fisher, said: “This product evaluation event is certainly popular, and as a result we saw some of the highest numbers of products being put in front of the judges.

“We are continually impressed with the standards year on year, and with 8 in 10 products achieving an award (half of those were gold) it is clear that butchers and farm shops have again raised the bar when it comes to supplying quality meat products. Our congratulations go to all award winners and in particular, the twelve champions.”