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Champions! Scotch Butchers Club Team Scotland win at the Four Nations Butchers tournament 

Richard Megahy and his son Ben

TEAM Scotland – Perth-based father and son butchery team Richard and Ben Megahy – have triumphed at the Four Nations Butchers Tournament in Ireland. They saw off hot competition from leading butchers from England, Northern Ireland and Ireland in the contest, with judges praising their skills as being ‘absolutely superb’.

Six weeks of intense practice saw the pair work in a way that judges said was ‘bordering on telepathic’ as they prepared, crafted and presented a range of 40-50 products and created a retail display with the ‘wow factor’ – all within an hour.

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The judges added: “The father and son team worked in unison. The skill levels shown by Richard and Ben were simply fantastic, with their attention to detail bringing them the title.”

The Scotch Butchers Club and Browns Food Group, which produces much of Scotland’s Specially Selected Pork, sponsored the victorious team’s trip to the competition at the Irish Craft Butcher Expo held at The Curragh Racecourse near Dublin. The pair worked with products including a loin of pork, half a lamb, two chickens and a shoulder of pork.

Besides the preparation and presentation in such a short timescale, each team also had to have a theme, with marketing collateral to support their display. Team Scotland triumphed despite their display being held up in Irish customs, forcing a hasty visit to a local garden centre for replacement floral decorations.

Gordon Newlands, who manages the Scotch Butchers Club for Quality Meat Scotland, said: “I am thrilled and delighted for the boys, but it shines a spotlight on the whole of the Scottish butchery sector as a valued and important trade.”

Richard has been a butcher with Perth-based Simon Howie for 27 years while Ben, who is 21, has been working for the business for almost two years and is currently completing his SVQ.

Gordon added: “Ben, at 21, embodies the spirit of youth, and has a great work ethic along with his father, who in the past has been Scottish butcher of the year. It is fantastic that we are returning from Ireland as international champions!”

The team had plenty of support, with 15 members of QMS’s Scotch Butchers Club attending as part of a trip to the Expo and to visit leading Irish butchers to gain ideas and inspiration. “The whole weekend allowed members to network with their Irish counterparts and gain knowledge. Friends were made, and contacts that members can use in their own businesses for help and ideas,” he said.

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