Keith Fisher, AHDB Pork master butcher advisor, is retiring from the levy board after dedicating more than 40 years to the meat industry.
Fisher is a fourth generation butcher and one of only 21 others in the country to hold the title of Institute of Meat Accredited Master Butcher (and was the second butcher to be awarded the prestigious title). He has devoted his life and career to the development and excellence of the British meat industry. His work has spanned all sectors of the industry, from the buying of live animals from auction markets and farms, to the cutting and processing of carcasses for fresh cuts and products.
Butchery is in Fisher’s blood, as his family have been in the trade for over a century. He was trained at London's Smithfield College and Market, where meat has been sold since the 10th century. Since 1974, when he joined what was then The Meat and Livestock Commission, he has been responsible for developing and popularizing many cuts consumers would recognize on menus and on shelf today, including very popular and value adding dishes such as pork spare ribs.
Fisher’s work in the industry has stretched further and wider than the four walls of AHDB Pork, holding key positions as the chief executive at the Institute of Meat, a position he will continue to hold, and a liveryman and court member of the Worshipful Company of Butchers. Fisher has also played integral roles in creating, running and judging global competitions regarding butchery skills, displays and product development.
Fisher commented, “I contemplated retirement a few years ago, but I just love what I do so much, it just kind of passed me by. I’m proud to have worked in an industry – for so long – where passion, perfectionism and progression are at the forefront of what we do. I don’t think I could ever hang up the ‘blue coat and hat’ forever, but its time I stepped back and let the next generation take the helm to help move the industry forward. I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved, and look forward to seeing which cuts and products will be presiding in butcher’s counters in the years to come.”
On Fisher’s decision to retire, Meryl Ward, AHDB Pork chairman, said, “In Keith we are undoubtedly losing a wealth of experience and knowledge. He has been a prominent figure within the meat industry for decades and we know we’ve been lucky to have his expertise at our finger tips all this time.”