Gary Levey, Butcher Lecturer, Assessor and Mentor at Sparsholt College has been accepted as an Institute of Meat (IoM) accredited Master Butcher, joining a select group of less than 70 top level butchers nationwide. Gary (MB.Inst.M) received his much-prized title at the Institute of Meat and Worshipful Company of Butchers Annual Prizegiving, which took place at the ancestral home of the meat industry, Butchers Hall, London, on 23 February.  

The long running event seeks to recognise and reward outstanding achievement in the meat industry. Alongside awards for exceptional apprentices, the prizegiving is where the highest levels of attainment in butchery are acknowledged, with the granting of Institute of Meat accredited Master Butcher (M.Inst.M) status to a select few accomplished butchers.  

Gary was presented with their award by Bill Jermey, Chairman of the Institute of Meat. Presiding over the event was Keith Fisher (F.Inst.M), Chief Executive of the IoM and himself a fourth generation Master Butcher. 

Jermey, who developed the accreditation over a decade ago as a means of distinguishing the higher-level skills and knowledge a Master Butcher has, said of the award, 

‘‘Butchers applying for IoM Master Butcher accreditation are serious about their craft. They submit themselves to a rigorous four-stage assessment process, during which they not only have to impress the Institute of Meat but also independent moderators. Taking months from start to finish it is not for the faint hearted, but Gary has proven without doubt he is deserving of the title. I heartily congratulate him.’  

Asked what achieving the title of Master Butcher meant to him, Gary (MB.Inst.M) said, “For me, the Master Butcher award is a recognition of more than 30 years in the meat trade. However, besides the acknowledgment of expertise that comes with this award, I’m hoping it will illustrate to future students that butchery isn’t a dying trade but rather a career choice with a bright and reputable future.” 

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