MESSAGE FROM MARTIN
Wow, what a busy summer! For a country whose people often complain about their weather, it’s been a pretty good one in the UK with lots of sunny days and warmth – and even some record high temperatures.
It’s also been a highly eventful and turbulent early autumn nationally and we were all shocked and upset to hear the news of the death of Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
An incredible servant to Her country, clearly highly respected around the world and she will be missed greatly. We offer our best wishes to the new King, Charles III, for his reign.
Closer to home, we’ve been extremely busy getting everything in order and settling into our new home in Blackwood. Although only a few miles from our previous address, the move took many months and involved a lot of careful planning to minimise disruption.
We are now fully operational in our new home at Hawtin Park and are continuing to increase the capacity across the site. We have taken on additional staff and, moving forward, this will enable us to more quickly fulfil the record-breaking levels of demand that we have seen for the last two years. We thank you for bearing with us during this difficult transition period.
There are more details below, but I wanted to pass on my own personal congratulations to Team GB and Craft Butchery Team Wales who competed in September’s World Craft Challenge.
Both performed well and having provided much of the equipment for Team Wales we were delighted to see them finish 6th overall in their debut event, and special congratulations to Ben Roberts who finished in the bronze medal position in the Apprentice competition. We’re already looking forward to 2024!
Finally, as we near the end of the year it is hard to avoid the fact it’s been a challenging period on many business fronts for us all, and unfortunately more may still be to come as we approach the colder, darker season.
I want to thank you all sincerely for your understanding and support over the past couple of years on behalf of myself and my colleagues. Every order, every contact and each piece of feedback is massively appreciated, and we look forward to continuing to work together into 2023 and beyond.
In September the World Butcher’s Challenge – known as the Olympics of Butchery – took place in Sacramento, California. 15 teams competed from around the globe, including a British Team GB and the newly-formed Craft Team Wales, who made their first-ever appearance.
We were delighted to become Headline Sponsor and supply many of the tools, knives, and equipment they shipped out to the US to use in the competition.
The young team – all in their 20s and early 30s – was captained by Peter Rushforth, a former Welsh Butcher of the Year from near Wrexham.
Alongside Peter was World Apprentice contender Ben Roberts, who manages M.E.Evans of Wrexham, Liam Lewis from Hawarden Farm Shop, Matthew Edwards, Tomi Jones from Brothers Meat, freelance butcher Dan Allen-Raftery and Craig Holly, from Chris Hayman Butchers, just down the road here in Maesycymmer and now owner of Crafthouse Butchery.
You will soon be able to see interviews with a couple of the team on our new YouTube channel (subscribe via @AtlanticServiceCompany to make sure you don’t miss out!).
The team were filled with a mixture of emotions on arrival, from pride to nervousness and a general feeling of amazement that they were to perform in a large arena with a big crowd watching. The event, where teams got given the same range of joints of meat to cut and divide up and present in theme-based display, inside a set time limit, was also broadcast live on YouTube.
After a weekend of toil and hard work, the team were delighted with their sixth-placed finish overall – a remarkable achievement for a small country competing for the first time. Ben went even better, finishing in the bronze medal position in the Apprentice.
Congratulations to the whole team who gave up much of their spare time over the past year to prepare for this. Roll on 2024!
In May some of our management team attended IFFA, the meat industry’s premier exhibition, held in Frankfurt, Germany, every three years.
We designed and produced a brand new stand especially for this event and other future exhibitions, bringing together our branding with our sister companies and our values were brought to the fore with a more open, welcoming approach for customers.
It was a unique opportunity to catch up with a number of our customers – for many the first time since the global lockdowns of Spring 2020.
We also took the chance to talk to many other industry colleagues and saw some intriguing presentations on the future of the meat industry and its modernisation.