Whole Foods Launches Apprenticeship Program To Train Local Butchers

Whole Foods Launches Apprenticeship Program To Train Local Butchers

Age-old profession undergoes a revival to ensure customers receive the best meat possible.

Ross Brooks
  • 24 september 2013

Data workers are something there is no shortage of in the modern world, but it seems there are fewer people willing to get their hands dirty. This trend has created a disconnect between us and our food, something that Whole Foods Market intends to remedy by launching a Meat Apprenticeship Program.

The program will teach initiates how to become master carvers regardless of what species they are dealing with. The intensive 18-month training program also aims to instil a deep understanding of the company’s standards for quality, animal welfare, food safety, sanitation and commitment to retail excellence. This mean the company’s butchers will be able to do more than just cut the meat, they will also act as a source of knowledge on how best to prepare and cook the meat going into shopper’s baskets.


Team members will have ample practice time to fully develop their skills and will be tested via cutting exams, meat sanitation audits, customer service exercises and more. By the end of the program, apprentices will be able to break down meat without sacrificing its integrity and assist shoppers with a any meat-related request they might have.

Theo Weening, the global meat coordinator for Whole Foods Market talked about the program on the company website:

Many of our top team members are third or fourth generation butchers who grew up in the trade and have spent a lifetime mastering their craft. We’re fortunate that these experts are eager to pass their knowledge on to a new generation who will keep this old-world craft alive and offer second-to-none customer service at our meat counters.

While it may only be a small step, it is a step in the right direction, away from centralized meat production and the faceless processes that dominate so much of the produce that makes it into our supermarkets.


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