BRING HOME THE BACON: Kawungan butcher carves way to Ekka
KAWUNGAN Quality Meats' Dale Newberry thinks his store has the best ham in Australia.
Soon he will have the chance to prove it as he pitches to take his products to the national stage.
The manager of the Kawungan-based butcher will compete in the smallgoods competition at next month's Ekka.
The Ekka appearance comes after claiming first place in the bone-in leg ham category at the Wide Bay Burnett Region of Australian Meat Industry Council awards, held in Bundaberg on Sunday.
Mr Newberry and the team also scored second place for their wood-smoked bacon, second for their cabana and third for their cheese kransky.
The winner of AMIC's competition will go on to compete in the national competition in NSW next year.
It's a huge score for Mr Newberry, who has 25 years of butchering experience under his belt.
"We always knew we had a good product with our ham, we sell lots of them" Mr Newberry said.
"It's good to get a bit of recognition and if we can take it further, we certainly will."
In an average week, the seven-man team at Kawungan Quality Meats sells close to 35 hams.
Mr Newberry said the early 6am starts usually involved filling the display cases with fresh cuts and meals before preparing locally-sourced sausages and small goods.
"I reckon it (the butcher industry) is growing legs and getting bigger," he said.
"People want to deal directly with a butcher where they can get advice on cooking, storing, slicing and smoking.
"We offer a different service than supermarkets, who are on more of a convenience side, where we offer a good, nutritious meal."