We signed. Butcher's Manifesto is a fact. Michael Museth, butcher and initiator of Butcher’s Manifesto, which aims to bring together passionate butchers from all over the world, is relieved, excited and proud. ‘Now comes the long, hard slog, but I’m happy and optimistic.”
The Netherlands, Germany, England, France, Poland, New Zealand, Canada, the United States and Denmark were represented when 25 butchers met to found Butcher's Manifesto at the People’s Food House in August 2016. In a professional workshop, the 25 passionate craft-based professionals agreed on and committed to five universal dogmas. The five points that make up the manifesto represent the essence of discussions about quality, training, craft, traditions and last, but not least, the consumer – after all, if no one demands quality products, there is no point in making them.
’At the Butcher's Manifesto event, we were able to put together and agree on a shared platform for talking about our profession. We established a network and laid the groundwork for international collaboration, because we saw that the butcher’s trade is under pressure throughout the world. We also made the first moves towards establishing a new master’s program and touched on ideas for scholarships and rotation schemes for newly trained butchers among the member countries. It was great to experience the high level of professional pride in the group,’ says the Manifesto initiator, Michael Museth.
Revitalizing a dying trade
Joining the Butcher’s Manifesto means committing to an active effort to revitalize a dying trade. It is vital to keep training new professional butchers and also to preserve traditions, techniques and methods and combine them with the needs of the modern world to ensure that future generations of butchers understand and appreciate the rationale.‘With Butcher's Manifesto, we have made a joint decision to tell people what we’re about. That quality ingredients require proper living conditions for the animal. That in turn requires education, among other conditions, and unfortunately, many of the existing and established training programmes around the world simply aren’t good enough. Now, we need to attract additional members and bring together even more butchers from around the world,’ Michael Museth explains.
Next stop New York?
At the food fair in Berlin on 1–3 October, another 25 members joined Butcher’s Manifesto in addition to the founding members who joined in Copenhagen. The fair was part of the festival Stadtlandfood in Markhalle Neun. ’With Butcher's Manifesto, we have, in all modesty, initiated a movement that’s going to influence education, promote quality meat products and inspire close global networks. This is absolutely amazing. We are wildly proud of the outcome – a manifesto consisting of five dogmas and, so far, 50 signatures. We hope that New York – followed by other locations in the United States – will be the setting for the next event as we go forward, and we are currently working to make that happen,’ says Michael Museth.
BUTCHER’S MANIFESTO CREDO
As proud butchers we solemnly declare to the following commandments
1. We honor the valuable traditions of butchery.
2. We insist on honest and transparent meat sourcing and processes
3. We promote the exchange of knowledge and expertise.
4. We represent a craft that is the joyful expression of tradition and innovation.
5. We lead the conversation about responsible consumption of meat.
Next year’s Butcher’s Manifesto Summit, which is the annual gathering for Butcher’s Manifesto, will be hosted by Folkets Madhus in Copenhagen, 18 th to 21st of august. Our ambition is to expand Butcher’s Manifesto to a world-wide network, as all the members attempt to set up local pop-up Manifesto events. The goal is to have all the members organize events where national butchers can sign and join the Manifesto.
Signing the Butcher's Manifesto
The participants in the first Butcher's Manifesto event 2016 were: Adam Danforth, US; Hendrik Haase, GE; Kate Hill, FR; Henning Wiesinger, DK; John Ratliff, US; Oliver Waldman, GE; Simon Ellery, NZ; Jørgen Christensen, DK; Lukas Rudyk, DK; Dominique Chapolard, FR; Matt Hill, UK; Matt Atkinson, UK; Jörg Erchinger, GE; Geert van Wersch, NL; Samuel Levie, NL; Jiri Brandt, NL; Jürgen Körper, GE; Piotr Filarski, PL; Olga Graf, GE; Anika Kaiser, GE; Rachelle Hecht, CA; Gustav Bang-Mikkelsen, DK; Jonas Mühlhann, DK; and Michael Museth, DK.