Butcher

Retail & Hospitality

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Smallgoods Maker

 

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Service or PersuadingPractical or MechanicalSkill Level 2Skill Level 3

Butchers or Smallgoods Maker prepare and sell meat and meat products, either directly to the public, or to restaurants and supermarkets. Butchers select, cut, trim and prepare meat for sale or supply. They cut the meat into sizes small enough for individual sale, and may also remove bones if FutureGrowthModeratenecessary. They place the meat onto trays for display and sale, and may also package meat for retail sale. They advise customers on the type of meat they sell, and may make recommendations about cooking or preparing their products. Some butchers also marinate, cure and smoke meat, and make sausages and other forms of smallgoods. Nowadays, most butchers stock native game such as kangaroo or emu meat. 


ANZSCO description: 3512: Selects, cuts, trims, prepares and arranges meat for sale or supply, operates meat or smallgoods processing machines, or manages the processes in the production of smallgoods. 
Butcher with rack of lamb

Specialisations: Retail Butcher, Wholesale Butcher

Alternative names: Meat Retailer

Knowledge, skills and attributes

A butcher needs:

  • enjoy practical and manual work
  • physically fit and in good health - physical strength and stamina
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • good interpersonal skills
  • good communication and customer service skills
  • to be able to work with animal carcasses
  • to maintain a high level of hygiene

 Gulgong Butchery
Smithfield Butchery, Gulgong 1870
(Source: Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales)
Out of copyright

Duties and Tasks

Butchers may perform the following tasks:

  • cut, trim and shape standard cuts of meat to size
  • process carcasses into primary and secondary cuts
  • pack and store products for display and sale
  • order supplies from wholesalers using AUS-MEAT Language, as well as weigh and check stock on receipt
  • assemble and operate mincers, grinders, mixers, patty-forming or sausage-forming machines, and bandsaws
  • use correct detergents and sanitisers to prevent food poisoning and contamination of premises and equipment
  • assist clients (including hotels and restaurants) in menu planning, estimating food portions and production costs
  • collect payment for sales
  • prepare marinated meats, value-added and ready-to-cook dishes
  • advise customers about alternative cuts, cooking methods, storage requirements and nutritional aspects of meat.

Pork meat cuts
Pork Meat Cuts

Working conditions

Butchers work in supermarkets, independent shops/outlets, or in boning or slicing rooms. Their work can be untidy, especially in the latter environment, as they are exposed to animal blood. They often work long hours with early morning starts. Their work requires good customer service skills as they regularly come into contact with customers. 

Butchers work with a variety of knives, hand tools, power equipment (including mincers, mixers and bandsaws) and computer-operated machinery.

Butchers work in shops and boning/slicing rooms. They usually have early morning starts and their work involves a lot of contact with people such as customers and workmates. Butchers are exposed to animal blood.

Country Butcher
Country Butcher (Source: CB)

Tools and technologies

Butchers use a variety of knives including cleavers, carving knives and filleting knives. They also use hand tools and power equipment including mincers, mixers and bandsaws to chop, crush and grind meat. They may also use computer-operated machinery, and may need to know how to use a cash register or EFTPOS machine. 

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a butcher, you usually need to complete an apprenticeship. The general butcher apprenticeship takes 36 months to complete and is available as a school-based apprenticeship.

Did You Know?

Butchers may also be involved in the putting together and final processing of continental, fresh and cooked smallgoods using hand skills and machinery. They may also prepare seasonings and cures according to recipes.


Sausages

"Sausage making is a logical outcome of efficient butchery. Traditionally, sausage makers would salt various tissues and organs such as scraps, organ meats, blood, and fat to help preserve them. They would then stuff them into tubular casings made from the cleaned intestines of the animal, producing the characteristic cylindrical shape. Hence, sausages, puddings, and salami are among the oldest of prepared foods, whether cooked and eaten immediately or dried to varying degrees.

Early humans made the first sausages by stuffing roasted intestines into stomachs.

The Greek poet Homer mentioned a kind of blood sausage in the Odyssey, Epicharmus wrote a comedy titled The Sausage, and Aristophanes' play The Knights is about a sausage-vendor who is elected leader.

Evidence suggests that sausages were already popular both among the ancient Greeks and Romans, and most likely with the various tribes occupying the larger part of Europe."
(Source: Wikipedia)


Smallgoods Maker
Retail & Hospitality


Service or PersuadingPractical or MechanicalSkill Level 2Skill Level 3


Smallgoods makers select and prepare meat, and manage the processes in the production of smallgoods. FutureGrowthModerate

ANZSCO description: 3512: Selects, cuts, trims, prepares and arranges meat for sale or supply, operates meat or smallgoods processing machines, or manages the processes in the production of smallgoods. AQF Certificate III including at least two years of on-the-job training, or AQF Certificate IV (ANZSCO Skill Level 3)


Knowledge, skills and attributes      

  • enjoy practical and manual activities

  • physically fit and in good health

  • good hand-eye coordination

  • good interpersonal skills

  • good hygiene

Bernie Jurcan
The Late Bernie Jurcan, owner of Istra Smallgoods, Victoria until his death in 2017.
Istra Smallgoods create bacon, chorizo, prosciutto, pancetta and salamis

(Source: Broadsheet)

Olivia Jurcan
Livio, Olivia, & Lidia Jurcan.
Olivia has taken over from Bernie as the owner of Istra Smallgoods - famous across Australia for their smallgoods.

(Source: Lost Magazine)

 

Duties and Tasks

  • selecting and preparing meat to produce smallgoods

  • operating machines to grind, mix, mince and tenderise meat

  • making seasonings and pickles by mixing spices, salt and other ingredients

  • operating sausage filling machines, smoking chambers, and cooking kettles and vats

  • assemble and operate mincers, grinders, mixers, and patty-forming or sausage-forming machines

  • shape meat or meat emulsion to make sausages and smallgoods

  • add seasonings to ground meat

  • operate filling machines, cooking kettles and vats, and smoking chambers

  • cure and cook meat products

  • use correct detergents and sanitisers to prevent food poisoning and contamination of premises and equipment

  • pack and store products for display and sale

  • collect payment for sales

  • order supplies from wholesalers, as well as weigh and check stock on receipt

  • store meat in refrigerators or freezers

  • prepare meat by removing bones and trimming fat

 

Did You Know?

Prosciutto, Pancetta, Cappocollo, Pecenica, Salamis, Kulin, Kaiserfleisch, Continental Sausages, Cottechino, Kabana, Hocks, Kransky, Bresaola, Bacon, Free Range Bred Hams, Kassler, Chorizos, are all smallgoods.


Smallgoods

Working conditions

Smallgoods makers work in shops and boning/slicing rooms. They usually have early morning starts and their work involves a lot of contact with people including customers and workmates. Smallgoods makers are exposed to animal blood in some parts of the process.

Tools and technologies

Smallgoods makers work with a variety of knives, hand tools, power equipment (including mincers, mixers and bandsaws) and computer- operated machinery.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a smallgoods maker you usually have to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship in Meat Processing (Smallgoods - Manufacture/Smallgoods - General).

Opportunities

Most smallgoods makers are employed in small or large smallgoods processing companies. Some are self-employed. Smallgoods makers also work in domestic and export businesses, where they prepare smallgoods for local consumption or for export. Qualified smallgoods makers may have the opportunity to become involved in other areas of the hospitality and food industries.


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Butcher

Waiter

Florist

Hairdresser

Salesperson

Baker

Chef

Greengrocer

Home Entertainment Store Attendant

Beautician

Newsagent

Pharmacist

Locksmith

Retail Manager

Funeral Director

Pastrycook

Entrepreneur

Barista

Tattoo Artist

Auctioneer

Events Coordinator

Restaurant Manager

Wedding Coordinator

Hotel Motel Manager

Drycleaner

Pet Groomer

Picture Framer