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The Jolliest Butchers in the Land, the Apprentice Edition

In celebration of National Butcher’s Week we thought we would introduce you to Fodder’s very own fleet, some of the jolliest butchers in the land. Our Harrogate Farm Shop, Butchery and Café has won local, regional and national awards – and with good cause. Fodder has a strong focus on education and strengthening the knowledge of not only our team members, but the public as well, to create a sustainable future for the industry.

First up we thought we would focus on our most recent apprentice, James. James came to us about 15 months ago to start his formal training as a Butchery Apprentice, and we’re proud to say he fully qualified just before Christmas!

We asked James all about what is required to fully qualify:

‘Learn about the full process, from ‘field to fork’ for red meat species, carcass breakdown and value added.’ This is especially important to us at Fodder, being a wholly owned subsidiary of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. All the meat on our butchery counter is from Yorkshire and we assure welfare standards are extremely high. It is also extremely important for us to provide great value, quality meat at an affordable price.

And what do you think makes Fodder stand out against the competition?

‘The relationships we have with our suppliers and customers.’

We’re on a first name basis with all of our suppliers at Fodder, this mutually beneficial relationship is based on trust and respect and we think it ensures we get the best from our producers and in turn you get the best from us.

We love getting to know our customers, introducing them to new cuts they wouldn’t have previously sampled and having them come back year on year for their family favourites. Whether you’ve been shopping with us for years or are just popping in for the first time, you’ll be greeted with the friendliest of service and knowledgeable advice

What key skills have you brought to the job which have helped you?

‘Definitely my social skills, I’m very much a people person.’ We agree on this one from James! Never without a smile he’s loved by customers and his team, if there’s a joke going on – he’s usually the man behind it!

And where do you see the future of the butchery moving to?

‘I think it will be ready meals and convenience foods, we’ve seen a big shift in customers needing that day to day ease and speed for dinner but still wanting quality and traceability within their meat products.’

And finally James, what is your favourite part of the job?

‘Making sausages… and working with the team!’

While James is now the most recently qualified team member, Head Butcher Ben reminds us that although fully qualified none of them ever stop learning.

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