Female butchers are an uncommon sight in butcheries anywhere in the world. Meat cutting has always been seen as a man’s trade. But physical strength aside, how do women butchers compare in this male-dominated industry? Could they, in fact, be better than men in many ways?
According to an article in Butcher Magazine “these days there are more women working in the meat industry. But why the increase in women in the trade? There are a few probable causes. women are no longer stigmatised for being assertive (and rightly so) This helps them deal with the sometimes misogynistic attitudes of their male colleagues. These days fewer stores handle full carcasses so physical strength is less of a factor. Women don’t have to lift full quarters of beef. Though many of them are well capable of doing so if required.” Read more here.
Our MD Catherine Butler is an example of this trend. Catherine is the only woman in Wales to hold a slaughter licence and today runs the 5th generation family slaughtering, cutting and butchery business.
Her successes and her contribution to the economy of South Wales has been recognised in her receiving a number of awards including the South West Wales Women in Business Awards for the Innovation in Business category; the IOD Wales award for the best family business; and just last month the female entrepreneur award in the South Wales Business Awards.
For the past three years, she has been invited as a judge in the annual World Steak Challenge, which this month took place in Ireland. She is also the first port of call for both national and regional media when it comes to discussion points on the economy and rural Wales.
In line with the Butcher Magazine’s claims, Catherine does bring a different side to the butchery business. In 2018, she saw an opportunity to grow the business by opening a Deli in the award-winning Swansea Market (which is the same location as her butchers’ shop). In addition to huge range of locally sourced deli products like Welsh cheeses and chutneys, Catherine also cooks and cures her own meat for the deli using the same sources of meat products as for the butchery business.
This year, for the first time, she is also taking her deli products to the Royal Welsh Show.
And her ambition doesn’t stop there. She has plans over the coming years to expand the deli business even further., watch this space to see what plans she has in the pipeline.