With a total of 12 countries taking part, the 2018 competition is set to be the biggest yet.
According to the World Butchers’ Challenge Council, Spain had to forfeit its position in the competition due to funding issues. As a result, Brazil was welcomed on board to fill the position.
The team, captained by Flavio Saldanha, has been working together since 2014 and has taken part in several events around Brazil.
Saldanha, who runs his own company – fs67 – as a consultant in proteins for restaurants and supermarkets, will be joined by Alder G Lopes of Rei das Carnes; Elder Rheis of Santo Antonio Butchery; head chef of Cortés Asador, Daniela França Pinto; and Wellington Rodrigo Cesar Camargo, who works at Rei das Carnes.
Ahead of the competition in March, the team are looking forward to the opportunities it will open up for them, the industry and the country.
“Sure enough, the Wold Butchers’ Challenge will be a milestone for the butcher profession in Brazil,” Saldanha told GlobalMeatNews.
“It is also the first major competition at this level that we will participate in and will be part of our growth goal as individuals and professionals. I hope this event opens up space for us to have competitions like this in Brazil.”
Saldanha believes that, by having a team that hails from each corner of the country with different skills and new cuts, it will give them an advantage on the competition.
The challenge will also give the team a platform to help promote the trade within their own nation.
“Today, the meat professional or profession of a butcher are not recognised or even desired; very young people do not believe in the profession and some traditions are getting lost,” explained Saldanha.
“We believe this opportunity can generate pride in the profession and serve as an example for young people to aspire to become one of us. Seeing that it is possible to go far as a butcher and represent Brazil in other countries, to know other forms of work and not to limit yourself to your butcher’s shop, to understand that life gives you many opportunities inside and outside Brazil.”
The World Butchers’ Challenge 2018 takes place in Belfast’s Titanic Exhibition Centre on 20 March 2018. Also competing are competition veterans Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain, current champion France and, new to next year’s challenge, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Ireland, the USA, Italy and South Africa.
“We are amazed at the messages of support we have received from other countries, from Brazil and from the fans that are forming and wanting to accompany us in the event,” concluded Saldanha.
“Within our mission to develop meat professionals, [as well as] the tradition and the roots of butchery and butchers, we are certain this is the way forward.”