Hospitality Business Magazine

Ready, Set, Butcher – The search is on for best Kiwi butchers

rsz_beef_butchery_diagram_newNew Zealand’s national butchery team, the Pure South Sharp Blacks, is set to compete in Ireland at the 2018 World Butchers’ Challenge, and the hunt is now on for the best six butchers in the nation.

Butchers are invited to nominate themselves for a place in the national squad of six, who will travel to Belfast, March, 2018 to represent New Zealand.

The World Butchers’ Challenge is designed to showcase the highest level of skill in butchery and involves each team breaking down a side of beef, pork and a whole lamb into a themed display of value-added cuts all within a three-hour timeframe.

2016 team captain, Corey Winder says the upcoming competition is already delivering a hefty task as it looks to grow from four nations to over eight.

“I’ve competed for the last six years from when it all began as a Trans-Tasman competition; it has been gaining momentum ever since the UK joined in 2013, and this year France competed for the first time.

“Now that the competition has been set for Ireland in 2018 we’ve had interest from Scotland, Germany, Italy and Spain. Even though the French were newcomers this year, they took out the title so there’s no doubt in my mind these new countries will raise the bar even higher,” says Winder.

The Pure South Sharp Blacks won the competition three consecutive years in a row, from 2013 to 2015 and are seen as world-leaders when it comes to innovation in butchery.

Team manager and selector, Todd Heller says he’s looking for butchers with technique to rival the best in the world and those with passion and a love of the industry.

“What these butchers do when they come together as a team is incredible, I’ve seen team members pour their heart and soul into this competition and they come out on the other side with lifelong friends and mentors from all around the world.”

“What the Pure South Sharp Blacks do is not dissimilar to any of our national sporting teams; they’re representing us in an international arena, putting New Zealand on the map,” says Heller.

The team is sponsored by Pure South, Beef + Lamb New Zealand and New Zealand Pork. For further details and a nomination form visit