Butchery wins big at the Meat Management Industry Awards.

Archer's Butchers from Norwich has been named Britain's Best Butcher Shop 2018 at the Meat Management Industry Awards. The Archer's team received its award at a ceremony in Birmingham on Thursday, May 24.

The awards recognise and reward standout people, products, organisations and companies in the UK meat industry; celebrating the best the sector has to offer: from sausages to machinery suppliers.

The Britain's Best Butcher's Shop category is open to independent retail butchers, who can nominate themselves or be nominated by a Meat Management Magazine reader. Secret visits to shops then take place and finalists receive visits from expert judges before a final decision is made.

Archer's Butchers, located on Plumstead Road in Norwich, is owned by Jamie Archer, grandson of Jack Archer who founded the business on Norwich Market in 1929.

'Judges have a long check-list when assessing butchers shortlisted for the Britain's Best Butcher Shop title,' says Jamie. 'They look at every element of the business including our external signage and branding, the skill level of our staff, the variety of products we offer, our customer service and, of course, the quality of our meat. It's a very thorough process so we're extremely proud to have won the award.

'Whilst we've diversified over the years and built a brand that I'm really proud of, the core of the business hasn't changed; it's built on relationships with farmers,' continues Jamie. 'These days we source each protein from one farm, meaning we can be 100% confident of animal welfare, quality and sustainability.'

Archer's beef comes from William Almey, of Tavistock Farm in Antingham, all pork is from Tim Allen at South Creake, lamb is from Andrew Clarke of Bull Farm in Costessey, and free-range chicken is from Martin's Farm in Hindolveston.

Archer's employs 22 staff and trains apprentices to ensure that traditional butchery skills are passed on to young people.

Having the right facilities and technology is critical to Archer's success and sustainability. 'We've invested more than £60,000 in our on-site kitchen where we create and our range of ready-meals,' adds Jamie. 'Later this summer we'll be launching our new e-commerce website so that customers can order online with the choice of click and collect or home delivery. Whilst many of our customers have been coming into the shop for years, it's vital that we find new ways to make the shopping experience as easy and engaging as possible.'

Jamie Archer plays a key role in the Norfolk food and drink community. He is part of the organising committee of the Porkstock Food and Drink Festival which takes place on October 13, and also part of the team behind Battle of the Bangers which takes place on June 17.