SOUTH AFRICA – The Shoprite group, Africa’s leading retailer is seeking to develop a scarce and sought-after skill in the meat market with launch of the Master Meat Artisan Programme, endorsed by United Kingdom’s Institute of Meat.
The programme is targeting its qualifying butchery managers, and will train the initial intake of 52 people to join the exclusive global club of Master Butchers.
According to the supermarket chain owner, globally there are only 55 Master Butchers in the world.
Of the only 55 Institute of Meat accredited Master Butchers globally, five are South Africans, all of whom are employed by the Shoprite group.
Two received the accreditation from the United Kingdom’s Institute of Meat in 2019 and a further three were certified in 2020.
“This programme will boost the development of a particularly scarce and sought-after skill, provide career path opportunities for the employees and put the group, and South Africa, on the map as world-class specialists in meat processing practices from farm to fork,” stated Shoprite.
The group already trains some 200 people a year in butchery skills to ensure an adequate supply of talent into its stores’ Meat Markets across the country.
The internationally-endorsed programmed will ensure its butcheries continue to enhance the Group’s competitive advantage in this area.
It is set to take a year to complete, and participants are required to build a portfolio of evidence that includes modules on butchery expertise, business acumen and food hygiene and safety amongst others.
“This programme will boost the development of a particularly scarce and sought-after skill, provide career path opportunities for the employees and put the group, and South Africa, on the map as world-class specialists in meat processing practices from farm to fork.”Shoprite Group
Shoprite anticipates that 250 of the group’s qualifying butchery managers will be enrolled onto this programme over the next five years.
The fact that the enrolment into the program requires 10 years’ experience, with at least five as a Meat Market manager, to qualify, reflects Shoprite’s commitment to being on a long-term career journey with its employees by providing them with opportunities to develop their skills, increase their knowledge of meat and ultimately grow their careers.
“The Shoprite Group is arguably the only company on the continent to provide this type of programme, and as Africa’s largest food retailer, we are committed to developing and enhancing the skills of our employees,” highlighted the company.
The first intake of 52 commenced in August 2021, and all training is undertaken by the Shoprite Group.
The UK’s Institute of Meat will be involved in the quality assurance of the learning programme and learners’ achievements.
Shoprite Group restores operations
In other related news, the supermarket chain owner is celebrating the reopening of its 89 stores after working day and night for past three weeks to restore operations disrupted by unrest.
The group revealed it has also been innovative to ensure it continues to provide customers with essential goods, using alternatives such as container stores.
It has sent its Usave eKasi trucks (mobile stores) into affected communities and distributed thousands of food hampers for people in need in affected communities.
The group also donated R1 million to the Shoprite Act For Change Fund for use by vetted organisations involved in relief efforts to help communities rebuild.
The Fund is managed by the group, on behalf of its customers, and all donations collected go to organisations working directly on relief efforts in the areas that need it most.
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