NEXT week is National Butchers Week, which was set up to raise the profile of the butchery trade and celebrate the skills and experience of those people who prepare and sell our meat.

If you head down to your local farmers’ market over the next few weekends, you will see some of the best cuts of meat in the whole of Worcestershire.

A lot of the meat on your local farmers’ market stalls is prepared by the people who sell it, so you know they will have taken great care to ensure it is of the highest quality. The stallholders who sell their own meat take great pride in their produce and always try to offer their customers the very best cuts they can.

One of the many advantages of the farmers’ market is the fact that the stallholders can respond quickly to their customers’ needs. Talk to your favourite stallholders and tell them what you want.

Andrew Keysell, of Rochford Meats, does all the butchery himself at Keysells Farm.

He said: “I started out at an abattoir 20 years ago. I learnt butchery at the abattoir but then I decided I wanted to do the farming and butchery myself in a more sustainable and family-orientated business.

When our animals go to the abattoir we use the nearest one.

This is to keep travelling time to a minimum and the familyrun abattoir makes it as stressfree as possible for the animals.

“We get to know what our customers like and they will let us know, for example, how thick they like their steaks. We get used to a pattern of what local people like – Bromsgrove people favour silverside, Malvern people like lamb and beef while in Worcester its burgers, sausages and steaks.”

Rosemary Tudge, of G and R Tudge, which supplies chicken and pork, said: “The majority of our meat is prepared by the butchery team at the abattoir.

They are extremely skilled and prepare the joints so well. They are very good at responding to popular cuts of meat. For example, if a TV chef has used a particular cut of meat, the butchery team will prepare extra to respond to the demand.

“If customers let us know they would like something particular, either by phone or in advance, we’ll do our best to supply it for them.”

Today’s farmers’ market is in High Street, Bromsgrove, from 9am until 5pm.