A BUTCHER from Overton will travel to the United States later this year to take part in an international challenge.

Ben Roberts, from M. E. Evans Butchers in Overton, will join several of his compatriots in representing a Wales team at the World Butchers' Challenge, to be held in Sacramento in California.

Craft Butchery Team Wales will make their debut at the biennial competition, which will be contested by 16 countries from around the globe.

The recently-formed team, which is managed by retired butcher and experienced competition judge Steve Vaughan from Penyffordd, is a division of the Culinary Association of Wales.

Ben will join team captain Peter Rushforth from Lytham St Annes, Craig Holly from Hengoed, Tommy Jones from Wrexham, Matt Edwards from Connah's Quay, Dan Raftery from Llanidloes and Liam Lewis from Tarporley, in the US.

The team is supported by co-ordinator Chris Jones, head of the food and drink business unit and training officer Frank Selby, both from Cambrian Training Company, Welshpool, which organises the Butchery WorldSkills UK competition.

He said he was looking forward to exposing the talented Welsh butchers to global competition.

"We are now ramping up the training days to every other week in the run up to the competition in September," he said.

"We are also researching product development and hope to call on the expertise of the Culinary Team Wales, after they have competed in the IKA Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart next week, to bring their ideas onboard.

"Opportunities for Wales to compete in the World Butchers' Challenge don't come along very often. This competition will provide our butchers with a platform to compete against the best in the world."

The World Butchers' Challenge comprises several elements with competitions for teams of six butchers, young butchers and apprentice butchers.

There are also individual prizes for best pork, lamb, beef, poultry and products and beef, pork and gourmet sausages.

In addition, the judges will select six butchers from all entrants for a Best of the Best world team award.

During the competition, teams will be given three hours and 15 minutes to butcher a side of pork, side of beef, a whole lamb and five chickens. The meat will then be presented in a display.

Rushforth flew out to Sacramento last September for the Captains' Run, which was designed to prepare international teams for this year's competition.

For more information, contact Chris on call 01938 555893 or 07811 266597 or email chrisjones@cambriantraining.com