01/01/2012 - ‘Butcher Shop of the Year’ praises pork

Davidsons Specialist Butcher of Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, has ended the year on a real high, winning the prestigious Butcher's Shop of the Year for 2011, and is attributing a big share of its success to JSR pork.

The family run shop, which also took the Scottish title at November's award ceremony at The Landmark, London, was praised for the quality and imagination of its added value and home-made products.

For owner John Davidson, a butcher for just seven years and member of the Q Guild, the UK's top independent butchers' organisation, the award rewards an innovative approach for which the pork supplied by his Uncle Ian 'Mossie' Davidson is ideal.

"'Butcher's Shop of the Year' represents all I've ever aspired to," says John, who works alongside his father Jim, "but any butcher can only make the best of what he's given. Mossie's choice of JSR genetics gives good continuity and he finishes pigs to around 100 kilos deadweight. This enables us to hang it for up to 14 days, three weeks for loins, in a chiller with an extra dry atmosphere. The JSR carcase is perfect for this: enough fat external to the muscle for 'hanging capability' but also enough fat within the muscle to give more flavour."

Ian Davidson, known as 'Mossie' of Moss-side Farm, at Oldmeldrum near Inverurie, runs his 300 sow unit using JSR Genepacker 90 sows and JSR Geneconverter 700 sires, and is renowned in his own right for BBQs and hog roasts.

"His pork is the ultimate," explains John. "We have always had regular 'new product development' sessions during which we all pitch in with new ideas. With a bigger pig you can make so many different products, new and different cuts. And you get a fantastic yield of meat."

Giles Christie, JSR's UK Sales Director agrees, "We are delighted to hear of the Davidson family's success. Ian Davidson has been a valued JSR customer for many years and this is a perfect example of the pork supply chain working together to meet the most discerning consumer tastes. Ian's JSR animals can go to higher weights whilst still delivering the feed efficiency he needs, plus the flavour, succulence and yield that John demands."

Davidsons' Pork Towers, recently won a Diamond Award for Best Kitchen Ready Product in the UK at the Smithfield Awards, organised by the Q Guild of Butchers and presented by celebrity chef Ainsley Harriot at the Butchers Hall in London. They also won Gold awards for their Pork Sausages, Dry Cured Bacon, Dry Cured Smoked Bacon and Special 'Garlic and Herb' Dry Cured Bacon.

"These awards are testament to the team's dedication to quality," says John. "I am a self taught butcher, so whilst I use traditional skills, I am always ready to consider giving customers something a little bit different and it is working for us here at Davidsons. I used to be a meat wholesaler and I can confidently say that, in my 22 years experience of the meat industry, dealing with some of the most prolific butchers in the country, we are procuring and selling the best pork available of the highest quality."

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