Etherington’s Butchery Academy opens this month and is the county’s only butchery school. Students will be taught a variety of butchery techniques including boning and jointing different types of meat.
The inspiration behind the school is MD Mark Etherington’s belief in apprenticeships, as he explains.
“It is very important that we equip our local young people with the right skills for employment. It is also important that we keep the butchery trade alive so we decided to teach the traditional skills to apprentices. In creating the academy, we have found that many other people are interested in learning these skills too, such as chefs, smallholders and foodies. It is proving to be an incredibly rewarding venture.”
Etherington’s are already in talks with educational establishments throughout Cornwall about arranging for young people to study at the Butchery Academy for their NVQs. It is hoped that the government will part fund the NVQs which will take around six months of training.
Chefs are being encouraged to come on day release courses or just for one-off lessons as Etherington’s already work with the trainees at Fifteen Cornwall and have trained 18 of them over the past year. The Academy is an extension of this work.
Smallholders, foodies and chefs can learn how to butcher a lamb and a pig on a one day course for £79.95. A maximum of six students are trained at any one session as this is the optimum number for hands on learning.
Defra part funded the development of the Butchery Academy, which is located in a bespoke building that cost £700,000 to create and also contains the farm shop, a bakery, offices and a conference area. Staying true to the ethos of the project, local tradesman used locally sourced materials to build the new facility.
Established in 1954, Etherington’s is fast expanding - just two months ago the new farm shop opened its doors.