A butcher from Chipping is set to compete against some of the best of his trade from Australia and New Zealand after being chosen to represent Great Britain in a tri-nations competition.
Tom Wood, who was promoted to the position of head butcher of Huntleys Country Stores at Samlesbury six months ago, is one of five UK Butchers to make the grade for Team GB, which will compete in the competition in New Zealand later this year.
I’m excited, apprehensive but exceptionally proud to have been chosen for the trip.Tom Wood
Tom, 36, grew up on his family’s beef farm at Dutton, which is still farmed by his parents Jim and Vikki Wood.
He moved to work at Huntleys – a family owned business with farm shop, restaurant and shopping village – two years ago.
A spokesman said Tom had worked hard to achieve the Gold Standard for butchery, which meant he could then compete for a place in the tri-nationals competition.
Tom competed against 26 other butchers from across the UK to win a place on the team after being given the task of boning out a pork shoulder in one hour to create an attractive display.
He said: “I have always had a strong work ethic, stayed focused and set my goals high. I will never settle for second best and I strive to do better and learn something every day. I was lucky to be brought up in the industry from knee high and meat is my passion.
“I’m excited, apprehensive but exceptionally proud to have been chosen for the trip.”
Tom attended St James’ Primary School, Clitheroe, followed by Bowland High, before learning the trade at George Alpe in Shawbridge Street, Clitheroe.
In his early 20s he went to work for his father in the family business, Bowland Foods Ltd, but he yearned to be back in retail, missing the “banter with customers” and also because he so enjoys “putting finesse” into his work.
Over the summer the five UK winning butchers will meet with their team captain David Lishman to train for the competition which will see them boning a side of beef, a whole lamb and a side of pork against New Zealand’s and Australia’s best.
Tom will travel out to New Zealand in September.
He says the UK has yet to win the contest, which has been running for five years, adding: “Fingers crossed. You give in your best shot.”
Huntley’s operations manager Katherine Smith said: “Huntley’s staff are so proud of Tom and his achievement, we wish him every success for the coming months. We have every faith in him.”