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Aylsham butcher named best in Britain

PUBLISHED: 23:23 27 April 2016 | UPDATED: 23:23 27 April 2016

G. F. White Butchers was named the best in Britain at the 11th annual Countryside Alliance Awards.

G. F. White Butchers was named the best in Britain at the 11th annual Countryside Alliance Awards.

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G. F. White Butchers picked up the award at the 11th annual Countryside Alliance Awards - nicknamed the "Rural Oscars".

A family butcher in Aylsham has been named the best in Britain.

G. F. White Butchers was given the honour at the 11th annual Countryside Alliance Awards, nicknamed the “Rural Oscars”.

It beat ten other butchers from across England and Wales to pick up the accoldate in the annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage.

Speaking following a champions’ reception in the Cholmondeley Room at Westminster on Wednesday, Broadland MP Keith Simpson said: “I was delighted when I heard they (G F White) won. They were very excited and were up against stiff competition.

“It is absolutely crucial to celebrate all things rural, I often feel they are neglected and not appreciated as some metropolitan areas. The fact that White’s family butchers are carrying on tradition and sourcing food locally is wonderful.

“We rely heavily on tourism and awards like this add to the ‘come to Norfolk’ picture and spread the culinary touch.”

The champion butcher was described as “a third generation success story”.

The shop, which is run by Crawford White, employs four Master Butchers and one apprentice and recent investment, which has included a shop refit and new delivery van, has helped it increase trade by 28 per cent in the last three years - and all as a third supermarket has opened in the town.

Crawford began in the industry boning out ox heads for pet food to make some pocket money when he was just 10-years-old.

Coming up through an apprenticeship before taking over the family business, there is still a firm belief in the traditional approach both to butchery and to customer service, with all products sourced from within a 13 mile radius and game from local shoots - with venison often shot to order.

Presenting the awards, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said: “Rural businesses are the lifeblood of this country and its communities, contributing over £220 billion to our economy, so it is only right we celebrate the heroes that make our countryside great.

“I’ve seen first-hand how the nominees for the Countryside Alliance Awards represent the brilliance of rural Britain and I am delighted to be able to celebrate their many wonderful achievements.

“They are ambassadors of thriving rural enterprise; something I am committed to boosting even further through our Rural Productivity Plan. This will improve technology and infrastructure, creating the conditions for rural growth.”

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