2016 Presidents Address
Ladies & Gentlemen, firstly I would like to thank Beaton Lindsay for his hard work over the last two years. He has a lot of good ideas and has added another chapter to the Lindsay Butchers history, I thought his lamb tasting in Perth town centre was an excellent idea.
I have this Past President’s medal for you and it has been very well earned.
After a phone call two years ago from the then President Ian Faulds asking if I would like to be nominated for the position of President Elect I was both shocked and honoured, after a lot of thought I accepted. I watched on when Ian was giving his final speech and felt the passion he has for the SFMTA Presidency.
I am again honoured today at the start of my two years as President and will serve the members to the best of my ability.
My business has been given great support by Douglas and all his staff, the advice that is given has always kept me on the right track during all new regulations, HACCP and product evaluations and I felt the right thing to do was to give a little back to the Federation this I was allowed to do when I was asked to join the executive committee.
I now find myself in new territory, bit I feel passionate enough about this trade. Butcher shops are having to change to fight back against the supermarkets. The introduction of kitchen ready products and ready meals are going to be the way ahead for butcher shops.
Customer eating habits are changing and the norm now parents are arriving home in the evening with about 40 minutes to present a meal for the family and our older customers are getting a wholesome nourishing meal ready in around 4 mins.
Butchers can take on the supermarkets in this field and win, we make our own products and with menu and cooking advice available first hand. Supermarkets don’t make anything they rely on sourcing suppliers, butchers have fresh produce available at their fingertips.
I entered this trade after serving 6 years apprenticeship as a chef working in the North British Hotel, Edinburgh (now the Balmoral) I never thought the experience I gained there could be put to such good use.
Marks & Spencer announced last week that they are to close 60 stores but will make 30 of these stores into food shops, they must have done their homework and they don’t often get it wrong, they must feel that there is a further gap in the market.
I know that internet shopping is here to stay but let’s keep the butchers on the high street we have wonderful unique products and quality meat to attract customers they know this because they come to us for special occasions like Christmas and Easter the way ahead to keep the high street’s alive has to be in getting them through our door’s more regularly.
We have an excellent training department at the SFMTA who will give members all the help they require, and possibly the Scottish Meat Training could include a ready meal or Kitchen Ready module for trainees.
When we look at the talent we have here today I am sure our meat trade is in good hands for the future. A special thanks to the apprentices who have travelled many miles to be with us today, the assessors, the mentors and the people that go that extra mile to make our training department into the success it is today.
Very recently I spoke with another past president and he was very happy to bring a member of staff from a catering background into his shop and he told me this is very successful and could give us all something to think about.
I would like to thank everyone for coming along today and I am sure you will enjoy the speakers Brindon Addy, Tom Courts and Gary Raeburn and I know we will have a very interesting afternoon.