2017 President`s Address
President Paul Boyle told the AGM it is hard to believe that one year of my Presidency has past, a year I have very much enjoyed.
It started off in January when I attended with Douglas regional meetings in Ayr, Glasgow Inchture, Carfraemill, South Queensferry, Oban, Inverness, Aberdeen and Kirkwall and it was the best way of meeting members over a short period of time, and on our travels visited as many members shops as we could.
The meeting let the members have their say on what their thoughts are on the meat trade in general. It was good to hear how much publicity was gained from this year’s Savoury Pastry product evaluation.
2017 was a year in which another trade fair was held and my first as President the bi-annual event continues to shape into an increasingly professional and popular event the biggest day in the Scottish butchers calendar and is exclusively organised by SFMTA.
On a personal note this year I got an insight on just how much work Douglas, Bruce, Claire, Christine and all the assessors put into it. One of the highlights of the trade fair is the Meat Skills Scotland Competition which again attracted a very good entry and a great standard of finalists Jamie Syme from Alex Mitchell’s in Glenrothes won over 22 category and the under 22 was won by Ryan Briggs from Allan Learmonth in Jedburgh.
The Craft Butcher Training Awards presented at the 2016 Annual General Meeting were a great success and have become an annual event and I must say gives the trainees and their mentors a huge boost to their confidence.
Federation members continue to have issues over inconsistencies of food safety regulations, but I believe our Chief Executive’s membership of the Scottish Food Enforcement liaison committee will give the members a voice to look at these issues.
The number of shops in the Federation is very slightly down there are 303 businesses plus 94 branch shops. It has been a tough year for butcher’s shops with discounters making a bigger impact by continually reducing their prices, when we all know good quality beef prices should be rising and we can’t allow our prices to fall behind.
In last month’s news letter Douglas said there are 21 meals per week and butchers will not get all of this business, but it’s hoped we can get our fair share by offering customers alternatives to compete with the supermarkets.
Training is a very important part of all our businesses and SMT still have 201 trainees on their books these trainees are the future of the meat trade as experienced shop butchers are still very hard to come by so we have to rear our own talent. I must say that the work Claire, Gordon, John, Sean and Gordon put into this must be commended as they provide first class service.
The Federation has 36 corporate members and we thank them for their continued support .
I must say at this stage that I don’t know how Douglas manages to put as much into his working week but I am sure we all hope this continues for a long time to come.
And also Bruce the man behind the phone when you ring the Federation office always there with the right advice and what he does not know he finds out and never lets you down.
I am looking forward to next year and I take with me a little more knowledge than I had this time last year.