The World Butchers’ Challenge 2018 takes place during IFEX at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast on 20-22 March, and it promises to be the biggest ever.
Butchers from Ireland, Great Britain, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, the USA and reigning champion, France will compete in two heats to crown this year’s champion.
Each team will travel with a delegation, many of whom are embarking upon a five-day international study tour of Ireland, in which they will visit multi-generational and award-winning butchers in both Northern Ireland and Ireland.
It’s expected that the addition of Meat@IFEX and the World Butchers’ Challenge will deliver a significant rise in visitors to the show – which saw a 22% increase in visitor numbers at the last IFEX – and around 500 of those will be international.
Joining the World Butchers’ Challenge at IFEX will be Salon Culinaire – home to the Northern Ireland Chef of the Year. Salon Culinaire at IFEX has a long and rich history of rewarding some of NI’s most-respected chefs early in their careers, and it will see almost 250 young chefs and culinary students compete in a range of categories.
Caroline McCusker from event organiser Fresh Montgomery, said: “IFEX 2016 enjoyed a 22% increase in visitor numbers and IFEX 2018 is laying down the foundations to make next year’s show even bigger.
“We have partnered with NI company, Butchery Excellence International, to add a global dimension to IFEX with the addition of a co-located show – Meat@IFEX – and the arrival of the World Butchers’ Challenge. To deliver these innovations, Fresh Montgomery and Butchery Excellence International have invested over £150,000 into IFEX 2018, which includes the addition of the dedicated space for Meat@IFEX.”
IFEX 2018 will also partner with The Guild of Fine Food – organiser of the prestigious Great Taste Awards – to bring together the best of Northern Ireland and Ireland’s speciality food and drink products under one roof.
Approximately 200 exhibitors are expected to showcase their goods and services at IFEX over the three days, with exhibitors including some of Northern Ireland’s biggest names in foodservice – Stephen’s Catering Equipment, Flogas, Henderson Foodservice, Bunzl, Lynas Foodservice and Hugh Jordan, among others.
IFEX and Meat@IFEX are taking place on 20-22 March 2018 at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, which is situated opposite Titanic Studios.