TWO Fordingbridge butchers have come up trumps in the 2009 Great Hampshire, Sausage, Pie & Ready Meal competition.

Vince Aldridge, of D Price Butchers in the High Street, fought off stiff competition at this annual county contest, organised by food group Hampshire Fare, to be declared supreme champion for his dry cure bacon and bagged a further gold for his steak and stilton pie, seven silvers and four bronze medals.

John Trim, owner of J May and Sons in Salisbury Street, won five golds, four silvers and two bronze awards for his traditional pork sausages, steak and kidney pie and cornish pasties.

The competition, held at Sparsholt College, attracted 200 individual entries from 30 Hampshire butchers and livestock farmers.

“I’m chuffed to the nines,” said Vince. “It’s great for the area. We are just a little family business so, as you can imagine, we are thrilled.”

And on the recession Vince said: “We are good at the moment, the recession has hit a lot of people who go to pubs but now lots of them are coming here for good quality meat and we know where every bit of our meat comes from.”

John Trim said: “My grandfather started the business around 100 years ago and I’m the third generation. My wife, Louise, and James have worked so hard for this and it’s great that their hard work has been recognised.”

The Great Hampshire, Sausage, Pie & Ready Meal competition is sponsored by The British Pig Executive, with support from Hampshire County Council, SEEDA and Lucas Ingredients.

Presenting the awards to the winning butchers and independent meat producers, Hampshire county councillor Jonathan Glen, executive member for skills, economic development and human resources said: “I hope that these results will encourage more people to buy their meat direct from Hampshire’s independent butchers, farm shops and at Hampshire farmers’ markets.”

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