Case Study: Odling Bros. Ltd Family Butchers #GreatBritishBeefWeek

Just in time for Great British Beef Week, here’s our latest case study on Odling’s Family Butchers.


Odling Bros. of Lincolnshire is an award-winning business which is synonymous with quality products and great service. Established in the 1920s as a small butcher’s shop selling quality locally-sourced meat and poultry, it is still run by the Odling family, but its enviable reputation over 90+ years has led to its being a much larger concern today. Alan and Roy Odling run the business today as a team.

Odling Butchers still prides itself on supplying fine locally-sourced meat and poultry to its customers, but its product range has expanded considerably. A wide range of goods baked on the premises is available such as pork pies, sausage rolls and meat pies -including their celebrated duck and orange pie. The shop also has an extensive cheese and delicatessen counter alongside fresh vegetables, grocery goods and a delicious range of cakes and pastries.

Odlings has experienced various highs and lows during the years they have been trading. Recessionary periods and the rise of the supermarkets all impact on local businesses. However their commitment to supplying quality products and loyal customer base has allowed them to expand where others have folded.  In fact the recent horsemeat scandal has only served to boost their sales of quality-assured, traceable meat and meat products.

Training with VWA

Sarah Odling is married to Alan and is Food Safety & Hygiene Manager at Odling Bros. She is passionate about ensuring that the products sold at Odlings are continually of the highest quality and produced to the most exacting food safety standards. Sarah is something of a VWA veteran, having undertaken a number of courses with us. These include our full range of auditing courses up to the highest level Auditor/Lead Auditor for which she attained a Distinction.

She has also taken Level 4 advanced HACCP and Food Safety courses, HACCP Validation and Verification, Level 3 Healthier Foods and Special Diets and a number of specialist courses including Legal Labelling, Food Information Regulations workshop and Managing Food Allergens as well as Training the Trainer which will enable her to deliver training to other members of staff.  Sarah also benefitted from an £800 Women and Work grant through the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink, which enabled her to maximise her training budget. Still eager to learn more and keep abreast of current regulations, she will be joining us for our new Creative Legal Labelling and Diploma in Nutrition and Health courses in June.

Master Butcher Alan Odling, has also trained with VWA, attending specialist courses on food labelling and allergens.

Training outcomes

All the training Sarah has completed with VWA has enabled her to ensure higher levels of management commitment to food safety within the business.  It has given her confidence in the development, implementation and monitoring of food safety management systems and provided a greater understanding and knowledge of all aspects of running a food manufacturing and retail business which meets and exceeds all regulatory and auditing standards.

The expertise she has gained in several areas has enabled her to deliver relevant in-house training to employees and her competence and confidence has allowed her to progress within the company. VWA training has also been instrumental in the company being awarded the maximum 5 stars in the ‘Scores on the Doors’ food hygiene scheme.

Why choose VWA as your training provider?

Sarah would have no hesitation in recommending VWA as a training provider. She says: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my training journey with VWA and have greatly increased my career opportunities and knowledge base. I have completed most of VWA’s courses and all have been to a high standard. VWA provide an excellent service. Training is provided by experienced tutors, well delivered and supported with excellent training material. Taking the courses has enabled me to totally change the food safety culture within our business and allowed me to gain the management commitment that I needed.

Sarah also commends the VWA office staff for their continual support. “Nothing is too much trouble” she says. “VWA have provided me with all the training I need in a fantastic, relaxed and enjoyable environment.” Another more-than satisfied customer!

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