In an African first, 62 butchery managers and trainers – 13 of which are women – joined the global club of certified Master Butchers following graduation from the Shoprite Group’s Master Meat Artisan Programme.
The Group is the only company on the continent to provide this elite and highly specialized butchery learning programme, underwritten by the United Kingdom’s Institute of Meat, that provides participants with extensive knowledge in meat processing practices from farm to fork.
To qualify, butchers are required to build a substantial portfolio of evidence that includes modules on butchery expertise, food hygiene and safety, and business acumen, among others.
Dorothy Labuschagne, who is based in the butchery training department at Checkers Hyper Edenvale, shared her experience: “The Master Meat Artisan Programme was truly an eye-opener for me. Prior to joining, I believed I knew everything about the meat market. This programme has enhanced my knowledge in various areas, including improved customer service, better meat quality methodologies, how to pair different meat cuts with condiments or other ingredients, and advanced management skills.”
“The Master Meat Artisan Programme has undeniably placed me on the map, equipping me with skills that have transformed me into a more adept leader in the workplace,” said Fundeka Ndyoki, who works in the Shoprite Meat Market Divisional Office in Centurion. “The management courses resonated deeply, providing invaluable insights on effective collaboration. I’ve refined my leadership abilities, finding fulfillment in enabling others to become better leaders themselves.”
It is anticipated that the Group will enroll approximately 150 more qualifying butchery managers over the next five years. This will boost the development of butchery skills that are particularly scarce and sought-after, while putting the retailer, and South Africa, on the map as world-class specialists in butchery operational practices.
The programme is also pivotal in providing sustainable career path opportunities for the Group’s Meat Market employees.
“The fact that this programme requires ten years’ experience, with at least five as a Meat Market manager, to enroll, reflects our commitment to supporting our butchers on their long-term vocational journeys, equipping them with the necessary tools and knowledge to excel in the butchery profession,” said Johan Hunter, General Manager of the Group’s Meat Markets.