Entertainment 23.5.2017 07:01 am

Best butcher a meaty matter

WINNERS. The award winners with their trophies. Picture: Yolanda van der Stoep

WINNERS. The award winners with their trophies. Picture: Yolanda van der Stoep

Cleaver Awards acknowledge those that meet consumers’ expectations.

The country’s best butcheries have been announced at a luncheon at Definitive Conferencing in Isando, Johannesburg, attended by senior members of the meat production and retail industry, award finalists, judges and media.

This year, six national and 39 provincial butcheries won Platinum or Gold Cleaver Awards. Between October and December 2016, more than 30 000 public nominations were received via SMS or online.

Of these, 150 finalists were individually and anonymously assessed against a 212-point checklist, with some of the finalists scoring up to 99.8%.

“With our experience over the years since the Cleaver Awards started, the improvement on a year-to-year basis is noteworthy, notwithstanding the fact that most of the butcheries always try something new to improve their score and/or to stay on top,” says Rudi van der Westhuizen, executive director of South African Meat Industry Company (Samic).

“The impact these awards have had on butchery standards in South Africa over the past few years is remarkable.”

Since the awards started in 2005, butchery standards have significantly improved and feedback from consumers shows that the majority perceive the Cleaver Awards to be a seal of approval.

An initiative of the South African Red Meat Industry Forum (Sarmif), these awards acknowledge butcheries which meet consumer expectations on in-store hygiene, the supply of quality-assured, roller-marked South African Beef, their level of competency in offering the best advice on meal preparations and perceived value for money.

While many top butcheries win a Cleaver Award year after year, the past year saw a new trend developing, with new butcheries being nominated for the first time and winning. Some of these new butcheries are new stores which have been opened by longtime Cleaver winners, such as Boma Meat Market with their new store, Boma Olympus in Faerie Glen, Pretoria, winning a national platinum award.

“To have won various Cleaver Awards over the past 10 years is a real honour to Boma Meat Market. This marks a special year as our new branch in Olympus won platinum national in its first year,” says Hendrik Steenkamp, owner of Boma Meat Market.

“The Cleaver Awards encourage the Boma Meat Market team to sustain the best quality and service delivery to its valued customers. Thank you to the red meat industry for the opportunity to proudly wear its seal of approval.”

Butchers were judged according to three categories:

  • Butcheries with four or more till points;
  • Butcheries with three or fewer till points; and
  • Food market/supermarket butcheries.

The Cleaver Awards is one of the initiatives of Sarmif to promote South African beef and to recognise outstanding service.

Another initiative held in 2015, called A si phekeleni impilo (let’s cook for life), was undertaken in partnership with the South African Chefs Association (Saca).

Twenty-six previously unemployed students were accepted for an intensive nine-week red meat cooking course and were taught skills to create career opportunities.

Two years on and 70% of these students are permanently employed within the hospitality industry.

Last year saw another initiative take place when small business owners within the red meat/catering industries were offered dedicated training, once again in partnership with Saca, to better enable their businesses to grow and succeed. This year will see Samrif and Saca partner again to bring versions of both the above two initiatives to those in need. These culinary programmes are assisting the red meat industry in fulfilling its desire to empower and build a new class of professionally trained individuals and to raise the standards of their future business operations, business practice and food service.

The winners in each category of the Cleaver Awards, proudly supported by Freddy Hirsch, received platinum awards and the runners-up gold awards.

First prize winners in each national category also received a R20 000 cash prize.

The runners-up received R10 000. All the provincial winners received either a platinum or gold Cleaver Award trophy in their category.

Three consumers who nominated the three national platinum winners each received a voucher for a R1 500 hamper of beef products from the winning butcher.

National winners

  • Three and more tills: Impala Vleis, Brits, platinum. Boma Vleismark, Moreletapark; gold.
  • Up to three tills: Boma Olympus, Faerie Glen, platinum; Uitkyk Vleismark, Lichtenburg, gold.
  • Meat Markets The Grove Superspar, Riverside, Nelspruit, platinum; Superspar, Edenglen, Joburg, gold.

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