Gressingham Foods apprentice wins national award

Ana Marques, a butchery apprentice with Gressingham Foods, has been named Best Meat Processing Apprentice at the Institute of Meat (IoM) and Worshipful Company of Butchers Annual Prize Giving.

The awards were held at the prestigious Butchers Hall, one of the oldest livery companies in London.

Ana, who was an apprentice at Gressingham Food, of Diss in Suffolk, before becoming Training Manager, fought off strong  competition from apprentices around the country to claim the top award.

At the prize-giving, Ana was presented with her certificate of achievement by Keith Fisher (F.Inst.M), Chief Executive of the Institute of Meat, and Chris Wood, Master of The Worshipful Company of Butchers (WCB). She also received a cheque to the value of £250 and a year’s honorary membership of The Institute of Meat.

The annual IoM and WCB Annual Awards have been running for over 30 years and seek to recognise and reward not just individuals, but also employers and training providers who excel in the meat industry.

Keith Fisher, himself a fourth generation Master Butcher, said, “The Institute of Meat has celebrated the craft of butchery for decades.

“I’m thrilled to now see large swathes of the public wanting to know where their meat comes from, trusting their local butcher to provide it, and respecting the great skill that goes into doing so.

“Although there’s always more to do we hope our prizegiving helps open peoples’ eyes to what a brilliant career choice butchery is, and one that’s open to all. The meat industry today is a hotbed of innovation.

“It’s talented apprentices like Ana and committed employers like Gressingham Food that help make it such a vibrant and rewarding sector to work in.”

Carrie Barrett, Learning and Development Manager at Gressingham Food, added, ‘We are very proud of Ana. Not only is she the first person to gain this achievement across the Poultry industry as a whole, but to beat red meat processors is a huge accomplishment!

“Ana worked really hard and I am so pleased that she has been recognised for this nationally. We hope this may encourage more people to come into our industry and gain this highly regarded apprenticeship, but for now Ana is the first and paves the way for more people within the poultry sector to gain this qualification.”

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