Date for your diary: National Butchers' Week 2015 - 23rd to 29th March
With extensive coverage across radio, television and newspapers along with activity throughout the UK, this year's National Butchers' Week (NBW) turned out to be one of the best to date. Butchers throughout the UK rallied to the cause and used the opportunity to promote their businesses, while MTJ's ‘Idiot's Guide to the Butcher's' captured the imagination and was widely shared across social media and mainstream press outlets.
The week got off to a good early start and MTJ's Idiot's Guide to the Butcher's Shop proved popular with consumers and butchers alike.
Ed Bedington, editor of MTJ, said: "We have been organising and running National Butchers' Week for seven years now and each year builds on the last. This year certainly proved to be a popular one and generated a lot of positive coverage for the butchery sector. What we aim to achieve with the week is to create a buzz around the trade and provide a platform for butchers who want to promote their business to do so. It's a marketing opportunity and a chance for the trade to bang the drum and raise its profile."
This year certainly saw a lot of coverage for butchery throughout the week, with a great start from BBC Radio 5 Live, which interviewed Lee Horsley, of WH Frost Butchers in Chorlton, Manchester, and gave a great plug to the week talking through people's ignorance of once well-known cuts of meat and discussing the Idiot's Guide. Meanwhile, MTJ editor Ed Bedington conducted a number of radio interviews with regional BBC stations, including BBC Radio Devon, BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester and BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire.
In other broadcast coverage, the week was given a great mention by Tom Parker Bowles during his regular slot on ITV's daytime favourite This Morning, showcasing recipes using cheaper cuts of meat available from butchers, such as beef cheeks.
Local television station Mustard TV also went to town on National Butchers' Week, featuring the week and recipes, as well as interviewing local Norwich-based butchers James Archer, who had recently refitted his shop just in time for the week.
The Daily Express ran a piece in honour of National Butchers' Week featuring top 10 facts about meat, including the fact that the word "carnival" means a farewell to meat and referred to the Christian tradition of giving up meat for Lent. And the Metro newspaper devoted its entire page three to the week, and featured a fun meat quiz to test consumers' meaty knowledge, including questions such as "what are faggots?" and "what is tripe?".
Social media came into its own for this year's week, particularly on Twitter, with consumers and butchers taking to the internet to proudly declare their support and activities and to help share the Idiot's Guide. The Twitter campaign also drew the attention of the celebrity foodie arena, with food critic and One Show star Jay Rayner backing the campaign, and BBC Radio 4's Food Show presenter Sheila Dillon lending support, as well as Jimmy Docherty of Jimmy's Farm fame.