Dunbia has seen two of its butchers awarded prestigious Institute of Meat Accredited Master Butcher titles by the Institute of Meat (IOM) and the Worshipful Company of Butchers (WCOB) in London.

Steven Dobson from Northern Ireland and Richard Jones from Wales were presented with the awards in recognition of their dedication to the ethos and tradition of the age-old craft of butchery and their commitment to its on-going development for future generations.

Bestowing the titles on Steven and Richard, Mr Keith Fisher Chief Executive for the Institute of Meat commented: “I am delighted to welcome Steven and Richard into the ranks of Master Butcher.  The journey of a master butcher is long and demanding and requires candidates to have a deep understanding and appreciation of the meat industry and be involved in all aspects of the wider supply chain from farming through to processing, manufacturing, the foodservice sector and retailing.  The Master Butcher title is built on 5 pillars – butchery expertise, business acumen, food hygiene, integrity and attitude.  Steven and Richard meet these attributes with flying colours and are very deserving recipients of the Institute of Meat Accredited Master Butcher title.”

Steven and Richard, who now joins the most elite butchers in the United Kingdom, are responsible for managing Dunbia’s award-winning Butchery Academy which provides a recognised and structured career path for young people wishing to pursue a long-term career in butchery.

Steven, who is the first Master Butcher in Northern Ireland, accepted his award by acknowledging his mentors, colleagues and peer both within Dunbia and across the industry.  “It is a huge honour to become Northern Ireland’s first Institute of Meat Accredited Master Butcher, particularly given the excellent butchers we have here.  I would not have achieved this without the support of Dunbia and their superb Butchery Academy.  Dunbia has some of the best trainers and mentors in the country who support young trainees to become outstanding butchers and set them on a long-term career path.  I was fortunate to be one of those trainees 20 odd years ago and to receive the highest butchery accolade is a dream come true.”

Richard, who has become only the second person in Wales to hold this honour, added: “As a proud butcher, to be awarded an Institute of Meat Accredited Master Butcher title is the pinnacle of my career but this would not have been possible without the support of family and all my colleagues in Dunbia and in particular in the Butchery Academy.  I cannot over-emphasise the opportunities offered by the Dunbia Butchery Academy and would strongly encourage young people to look at Dunbia as a career option.”

Dunbia’s Chief Executive, Jim Dobson congratulated Steven and Richard on their success: “This is a tremendous achievement for Steven and Richard and something we are very proud of.  It is a reflection of the hard-work and commitment which they have given to the craft of butchery over the past 30 plus years.  Both men have been instrumental in driving the Butchery Academy forward and ensuring that it continues to produce many award-winning butchers in the future.”

Steven and Richard received their award at a Presentation Ceremony in Butchers Hall in London on 21st February.