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Sarah Porter - Winner of Best New Apprentice at Institute of Meat Annual Prize-giving

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

Meet Sarah Porter, described by her employers as an ideal candidate with a great knowledge of the food industry. Sarah is at the early stages of her butchery career, she's an up and coming butchery apprentice who’d recently seen success at the IoM Awards.

Sarah’s route to a butchery apprenticeship

Sarah was born in England but lived for a time surrounded by animals on a family smallholding in New York. They grew vegetables and processed their own livestock for food. Being within this environment Sarah started to develop a love for the industry. For many years food and cooking were just a hobby. As time passed, Sarah enjoyed a successful career in corporate communications. After a demanding 25 years in this field, Sarah decided it was time to change and follow her dream of becoming a butcher.

Sarah searched online to find ways to get into the industry. She had realized that a butchery apprenticeship would be ideal as it involved gaining formal butchery qualifications and butchery work experience. For Sarah, food quality played a large part in which butchers she wanted to work with. Somewhere local, that shared her love of quality meat was Stansted Farm Shop. In October 2021, Sarah began her apprenticeship and training with Plumpton College – and is working towards the following qualifications as part of it,

· Level 2 Award in Food Safety for Manufacturing (Meat & Poultry)

· Level 2 Award in Health and Safety in the Food Supply Chain Business

· Level 2 Award in Knife Skills for Food Processing

Preparing for end-point assessment

Sarah, who is committed to her apprenticeship in butchery, told us about the work and preparation she’s putting into her upcoming EPA. Once a week, Sarah demonstrates and practices a full lamb breakdown to the specification required for the EPA. As well as the practical elements, she also uses her coursework to prepare for her upcoming Knowledge Test. Through constant learning and life experiences, Sarah has provided a great amount of value to her employer. She said,

“I’m fully committed to learning everything I possibly can about this fantastic trade, so I’ll happily ask the important questions”

Sarah also added “while I absorb information like a sponge, I’m also not afraid to challenge the status-quo when I have suggestions for new ways of doing things.”

Where is Sarah now?

At some point in the future, Sarah’s vision is to become her own boss. Whatever this is, she says butchery would be a part of anything she does. In the past, Sarah used to run a catering business with her sisters, as well as her main job. Learning butchery skills is providing her with skills for a variety of careers, in hospitality and beyond. Sarah says she might even like a “Behind the scenes” role within the meat industry, whether this would be as a tutor at a college or a communications role. Whichever route Sarah decides to take, she aims to be involved in the meat industry for years to come. She hopes to see more women joining and making this a progressive era within the meat industry.

To find out more about Level 2 & Level 3 butchery end-point assessments see below,

Level 2 Butcher End-point Assessment:

Level 3 Advanced Butcher End-point Assessment:



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