The team at Hugh Phillips Gower Butchers, who have had a stall in Swansea Market since 1878, has scooped the overall award for the best family business in the FSB Wales awards 2018. The team will now go on to the UK Awards in London where they will compete to become the FSB’s Family Business of the Year.
Catherine Butler is the fifth-generation owner of Hugh Phillips Gower Butchers. She is the great-granddaughter of the founder and the only woman in Wales to own abattoir and hold a full slaughtering licence.
Since taking over the business, in addition to maintaining the shop, under Catherine’s guidance the team has extended the operating hours at the abattoir and cutting plant. They provide customers with Welsh produce, hand selected from local farms and processed in the abattoir, working by the mantra ‘gate to plate’ with all industry protected, geographic indication standards. She has also introduced slaughtering and cutting services to local butchers as well as local farmers who want their own stock back for the freezer.
In 2017, she launched an on-line butcher’s shop that delivers a range of meat products all over the UK with packaging made from recyclable lamb’s wool for insulation rather than polystyrene which is difficult to dispose of.
Sourcing starts at the root and working with local farmers, they know the animals’ source, breed, how they are reared and what they are fed. Most importantly, low food miles are of paramount importance as they believe it is vital that the animals don’t travel very far from the farms to the abattoir.
Commenting on the win, Catherine said, “It’s fantastic recognition by the FSB to recognise the contribution that we, as a family, have made over the years to the local economy as well as ensuring the future of rural farming for the production of meat products. We aim to continue with this strategy over the coming years by developing ways and means of offering an extended reach for local produce to a wider market.”
Catherine is pictured receiving her award at the ceremony held in Cardiff on Tuesday, 6 February 2018.