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You may already have heard about the Cleaver Awards. The annual awards aim to recognise the top butchers in the country. The event is sponsored by industry leader Freddy Hirsch and was launched in 2005 South Africa’s Red Meat Industry Forum.

The Cleaver Awards recognises butcheries for the quality of their products and services incorporating in-store hygiene and value for money. Other factors which are used to determine the winners each year include the butchery’s ability to offer advice to customers and the quality of the meat itself. The 2018 awards was the 13th consecutive annual event.

Over the course of the 13 years the Cleaver Awards has been doing a great job of raising the level of butcheries across the country. As a result, South Africans get to enjoy better meat purchasing experiences, as well as higher standards of meat. As loyal supporters of the initiative, we are pleased that it has made a positive impact on the industry. One of the factors which sets these awards apart from others is that you, the customer, get to nominate award recipients.

This means that the people that have first-hand experience of dealing with the butcheries are the ones who nominate their meat suppliers. Being meat experts, South Africans are well equipped to judge what is or isn’t a great butchery! Nominations for the 2018 Cleaver Awards were open between October and December 2017, with more than 30 000 nominations recorded.

Of these, 105 finalists were selected and assessed against a thorough 212-point checklist. Some of the National Winners for 2018 scored up to 98.8%, which is outstanding! Over 30 000 nominations shows that South Africans are playing an active role in improving the standards of the country’s butcheries. It also shows that butchery owners and managers take their customers seriously and are going out of their way to improve their customers’ experiences. These are very promising signs for the SA meat industry!