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Alberton resident one of Africa’s first female master butchers

For the first time in history, the Shoprite Group’s Master Meat Artisan Programme crowned at least 13 women as master butchers.

After their recent graduation from the Shoprite Group’s Master Meat Artisan Programme, 63 butchery managers and trainers, of which 13 were women, became certified master butchers, marking an African first.

The group is the only business on the continent to provide this prestigious and highly specialised butchery study programme that the Institute of Meat in the UK supports. It equips participants with an in-depth understanding of meat processing techniques from farm to fork.

One of the graduates, Elizabeth Moloi, an employee of Shoprite in Alberton, said she was grateful for the opportunity. She proved her abilities were not measurable by gender.

“The programme massively changed my career and made me believe in myself more than I did previously. The programme built my confidence and put it on another level. I am thankful for the opportunity,” said Moloi.

She said the entire experience was amazing and worth holding onto. She learnt about meat processing and will share that knowledge with her team.

To qualify, butchers had to compile a sizable portfolio of proof that included, among other things, evidence of their business savvy, food safety and hygiene knowledge, and butchery competence.

Over the next five years, the group plans to enrol about 150 more qualified butchery managers. This will promote the development of butchery skills, which are in high demand and are particularly scarce while establishing the retailer and SA as world-class experts in butchery operational procedures.

“The fact that this programme requires 10 years’ experience, with at least five as a meat market manager to enrol, reflects our commitment to supporting our butchers on their long-term vocational journeys, equipping them with the necessary tools and knowledge to excel in the butchery profession,” said Johan Hunter, the general manager of the Shoprite Group Meat Markets.

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