World Butchers' Challenge takes place today

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

The WBC team captains and Rod Slater descend upon Belfast for this year's competition
The WBC team captains and Rod Slater descend upon Belfast for this year's competition
The 2018 World Butchers' Challenge kicks off today as 12 teams battle it out to be the best.

Ahead of today's competition, GlobalMeatNews caught up with the chairman of the WBC council Rod Slater to discuss how the competition has grown over the past seven years.

"It's wonderful for our industry and we've really caught a tiger by the tail,"​ he said. "It started off with two countries and then it kept growing. It was when the event was in the Gold Coast that it exploded, and something that started out as a bit of fun has become very serious."

He said the event has gained traction thanks to social media. "Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have been huge for the World Butchers' Challenge and it's enabled the world to see the event. It's also made stars out of these butchers and really shined a light on the butchery industry."

There are 12 teams in this year's event, and as talk turns to the next World Butchers' Challenge, Slater expects it grow even further. "We have interest from 20 teams for the next competition and we're currently deciding on the location. Two countries, the US and France have bid for it so we're working on a decision at the moment with an announcement expected soon."

But the million dollar question is of course, who does Slater think will win? "If I was a betting man, I'd back the French. They're definitely the favourites and they won last time. But there are a lot of new teams in the competition so there's so much unknown. It's also important not underestimate the Australians and New Zealand."

The World Butchers' Challenge takes place today (21 March) at IFEX in Belfast​. Check back soon for the full results!

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