Farming Initiative Offering Apprenticeship With Master Butcher

grazing cattle peninnis
The islands’ Farming Initiative is offering the chance for someone to train with one of Cornwall’s most well respected master butchers.

It’s part of a project to improve the meat supply chain on the islands and support future demand for an abattoir.

The candidate will be offered a 5-month paid apprenticeship working in Philip Warren’s butchers’ shops in Launceston.

He employs over fifty butchers in his business and supplies some of London’s top restaurants. He’s also a key advisor to the Duchy on butchery.

Philip said he first became involved in the islands when he was asked for advice on opening an abattoir here.

He said he was immediately struck by the quality of the livestock on the islands, particularly the cattle on Tresco.

And he believes there’s huge potential for supplying quality meat to the local market, but says there needs to be an artisan butcher based on the islands who knows how to extract the most value from the animals, rather than just selling on the carcasses.

That means learning, for example, to cure bacon and hams, make sausages, and bone beef.

He rejected suggestions that there isn’t enough demand here and said if we get the product right, it’ll be producing enough that’s the problem.

And he’s equally forthright about the type of person he wants to see take up the role.

Philip says this shouldn’t be supported by a short-term grant that disappears after a few years, but something that lasts a generation.

He wants to see a young person who lives here, or wants to return here, take up the challenge.

They need to have high levels of enthusiasm, a real appetite for skilled butchery and a commitment to the islands and the farming industry as a whole, not just as an individual business opportunity.

Philip says the islands could be self sufficient in meat but the islanders themselves need to want it to happen.

That would mean putting more land over to raising animals. He says there’s lots of land here that isn’t being used productively and feels there’s room for a big increase in pigs here.

And that increase would make an abattoir sustainable and believes in the project so much that he said if he were younger, he’d do it himself.

Anyone interested in the training should contact Jess Vian at the Isles of Scilly Farming Initiative on 01720 422544.