Bringing the art of butchering to the people

CUTTING EDGE: Caroline McCann shows her butchering skills and aims to encourage people to join the industry.


“The art of butchering, albeit an ancient one, is a dying one,” according to Caroline McCann, owner of Braeside Meat Market in Parkhurst.

A lawyer-turned-butcher, McCann has made meat – particularly the grass-fed and ethically raised kind – her business since 2002. Burnt out and overworked, she decided to take a break from running her own labour consultancy and bought a butchery from her aunt instead.

Meat lovers can catch McCann at the upcoming Fire & Feast Butcher’s Festival (FFBF) which will be taking place from 26 to 28 May at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg.

Not only is McCann a tremendous drawcard to the show because of her vast knowledge and world-renowned work, but she also aims to highlight butchering as an exciting career choice, an art, and a trade in the true sense of the word.

“For most aspiring young adults planning their tertiary studies or entering the job market for the first time, butchering might not seem the obvious, glamorous or ‘sexy’ choice. The majority of today’s young professionals are after laptops, briefcases and desk jobs,” said McCann. “Coupled with the fact that there are currently only two institutions in South Africa who offer formalised training for butchers – we’re sitting with a real problem in our country.

“Without butchers, our local farmers are forced to supply to larger conglomerates, which completely cuts out that relationship and trust of yesteryear. Instead of knowing where their meat comes from, consumers are forced to buy meat in polystyrene packets without knowing how long it has been lying on a fridge shelf, how far it has travelled to get there, let alone what the animal was fed,” added McCann.

With that said, she is confident that the industry is big enough for all who find their passion in the art of butchering meat and it is for this reason that she would like to educate the public and encourage more people to find careers in the industry.


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Racine Edwardes

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