Bidfresh launches Countrywide Butchers to Make Meat a Treat

January 2019

Chefs can maximise the potential of meat on the menu while still catering for customers looking to reduce their consumption, says hospitality fresh produce specialist Bidfresh.

The business is launching a new national brand for its premium meat range, Countrywide Butchers, and is using National Butchers Week, which runs from 11-17 March, to spotlight the wide range of meat and added value services available to chefs.

Stephen Oswald CEO of Bidfresh, said, “We’re very proud to launch Countrywide Butchers, enabling us to bring the finest quality meat and the skills of our specialist catering butchers to chefs on a nationwide basis.”

The new brand brings together products and expertise from the four regional specialist butchers within the group – Campbell Brothers, Henson Meats, Knight Meats and Williams of Flint – to supply national accounts. These businesses already work with over 2500 chefs in hotels, restaurants, pubs and other catering business across the UK.

As well as the hospitality industry’s widest choice of sustainably-sourced meat and game, services also include preparation by specialist butchers to customer specifications, along with cooking information, menu consultancy and a range of additional support.

Laurence Tottingham, Development Chef for Oliver Kay Produce, sister company of Countrywide Butchers and part of the Bidfresh group, says, “The trend towards consumers eating less meat, especially amongst the younger demographic, has been well publicised and we know from conversations with our customers that many chefs in hotels, restaurants and pubs are looking at ways to address this issue.

“We’re using National Butchers Week and the launch of the Countrywide Butchers brand to help our customers focus on the positives. For consumers taking a ‘flexitarian’ approach to their diet, meat becomes more of a treat, and so we can help chefs emphasise the premium quality of the meat on their menu.

“Sustainability and animal welfare are issues for many consumers. We work with trusted, approved suppliers to source a variety of local, UK, EU and Red Tractor approved ranges of meats, as well as being members of the Ethical Trading Initiative.”

Advice from Countrywide Butchers to make the most of meat includes:

• Make meat a treat for customers by highlighting premium products on menus and specials boards, such as Henson’s renowned salt beef, Campbell Brothers’ Buccleuch Beef steaks, and speciality game, charcuterie and offal;

• Buy the best quality meat you can. Countrywide Butchers has in-house dry ageing facilities at each of their local sites, enabling butchery customers to specify the exact length of ageing they require to suit their tastes;

• Use the whole animal – nose to tail. Specialist butchers can prepare the animal, advising customers how to utilise all parts effectively on the menu;

• Cuts pre-prepared by specialist butchers add value for customers, minimise food waste, and add profit to meat dishes.

Tottingham will be running classes spotlighting sous vide cookery techniques in London on 20 February and Bolton on 13 March, and will also be hosting a class at Henson Meats in London to coincide with National Butchers Week. He says, “Whether it’s meat, vegan or other specialist menu areas such as seafood or a premium cheeseboard, hospitality operators are having to work harder than ever to attract customers in the challenging eating out market, and as a premium food supplier we’re working closely with our customers to help them keep their menus competitive.”

Chefs can sign up for classes through their account manager or by emailing