For centuries, the butcher shop was a critical part of any town or village. The skills of the butcher were highly valued, and an apprenticeship program helped pass along the skills to the succeeding generations. With the introduction of boxed beef in 1967, grocery stores became less reliant on manual labor, and the role of the butcher diminished, at least in the mainstream meat industry. The skills were still valued among the country’s meat markets and small processors.
Changes in customer trends have turned the tide the other way. The butcher is a valued profession once more, and there is an opportunity for the trade to grow once more.