Cornish meat supplier and farm shop, Etherington’s, has launched a Butchery Academy in the county to keep the trade alive among young apprentices.
Students will be taught a variety of butchery techniques including boning and jointing different types of meat.
According to the company, the inspiration for the Academy is managing director Mark Etherington’s belief in apprenticeships.
“It is very important that we equip our local young people with the right skills for employment,” said Etherington.
“It is also important that we keep the butchery trade alive so we decided to teach the traditional skills to apprentices. In creating the academy, we have found that many other people are interested in learning these skills too, such as chefs, smallholders and foodies. It is proving to be an incredibly rewarding venture.”
Etherington’s said it is already in talks with educational establishments throughout Cornwall to arrangefor young people to study at the Butchery Academy for their NVQs. It is hoped the government will part fund the NVQs, which will take six months of training.
Chefs are being encouraged to come on day release courses or just for one-off lessons as Etherington’s already work with the trainees at Fifteen Cornwall and has trained 18 of them over the past year. The Academy is an extension of this work.
Smallholders, foodies and chefs can learn how to butcher a lamb and a pig on a one day course for £79.95. A maximum of six students are trained at any one session as this is the optimum number for hands on learning, Etherington says.
Defra part funded the development of the Butchery Academy, which is located in a bespoke building that cost £700,000 to create and also contains the farm shop, a bakery, offices and a conference area. Staying true to the ethos of the project, local tradesman used locally sourced materials to build the new facility.
Established in 1954, Etherington’s is rapidly expanding – just two months ago the new farm shop opened its doors.