Nationwide, butchery protégées are fine-tuning their technique in preparation for the regional finals in July.
Competition is fierce, with those in the Young Butcher category vying for a prize trip to Europe where they will support the Wedderburn Sharp Blacks, the national butchery team, during the Butchery Tri-Nations in 2014.
Those in the Apprentice category are also battling for some big prizes, including cash and a study tour to Australia.
Kim Doran, competition organiser from Retail Meat New Zealand, says the contest is becoming more intense each year.
“There is a real positive buzz about the 2013 competition; it has been a good year for the butchery industry in New Zealand with the Wedderburn Sharp Blacks taking out the Tri-Nations and the inaugural North vs South challenge.
“Competitions have become a big part of how we profile our industry and our young butchers are at the grassroots of it all,” says Doran.
Entrants have until 14 June to get their entries in, they will then have to compete in one of five regional finals.
The winners of these regional finals will then go onto the Grand Final in Auckland on 16 August.
The competition is supported by Alto Packaging, Competenz, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Dunninghams, Hellers, Kerry Ingredients, New Zealand Pork, Wilson Hellaby, Cabernet Foods, Natural Farm and Tegel.