Young Farmers profile: 18-year-old Serena Carter talks about life as an apprentice butcher

Serena Carter of Swaffham Young Farmers Club is an apprentice butcher. Picture: Serena Carter

Serena Carter of Swaffham Young Farmers Club is an apprentice butcher. Picture: Serena Carter - Credit: Serena Carter

In the latest of our profiles on the region's Young Farmers' Club members, SERENA CARTER explains how a busy barbecue season has made for a hectic first few months as an apprentice butcher.

I began working as an apprentice butcher after completing my A levels at sixth form in June.

I knew university wasn't for me and that I would prefer an apprenticeship as I could earn while I learn.

An average day for me starts at 8am and begins with sorting out the counter for the shop ensuring that it is all fully stocked. After ensuring that all the packs for the shop are made, I make burgers or sausages depending on what is needed for orders or for the shop.

This generally takes up to lunch time, including tidying up and washing down the machines.

After lunch I recheck the stock and see what else needs to be done. This sometimes involves de-boning pork for sausage meat or making sausage rolls or pinwheels for the shop.

Nearing the end of the day, we begin cleaning up the shop and machines and I also sort and prepare the pies which are needed for the next day.

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Alongside my apprenticeship, I have to attend Poultec training centre once a month and also have a tutor out to visit me at work once a month. This is to teach me different cuts of meat and the knowledge I need for butchery and also to assess me.

At this time of year, butchers are slowing down from the barbecue season, when there is high demand for burgers, sausages and barbecue packs.

Now it is slower, we often check the freezer and have a clear out ready for the Christmas period, when there is a higher demand for sausages but burger demand slows down. This means that my time will be more shifted to sausage making.

Sausage rolls are also more popular in the lead-up to Christmas, so I will soon be starting to make more of them.

Five years down the line, I am hoping to be a fully qualified butcher with a vast knowledge of the butchery trade. Maybe one day I might even open my own butchers – who knows?

I have been a member of Swaffham Young Farmers for a year and this year I am secretary. I really enjoy attending Young Farmers because it has given me the opportunity to meet like-minded people I get along with.


• Name: Serena Carter

• Age: 18

• Occupation: Apprentice butcher at Impson's Butchers

• YFC club: Swaffham

• How long have you been a YFC member?: One year

For more details about Norfolk Young Farmers and Countrysiders contact the county office on 01603 731307.