The story so far...

The story really goes back to 1946 with the incorporation of the Institute of Meat (IoM).

At that time there were no nationally recognised vocational qualifications, and the Institute's exams became the route to enter the meat industry. This continued until NVQs were introduced, and the Meat Training Council (MTC) was established as a charity and became the National Training Organisation (NTO) and Awarding Body for the meat industry. At this point the Institute of Meat became purely a professional body.

Name change

When NTOs were abolished and Sector Skills Councils replaced them, the MTC board took the decision to widen the scope of the awarding body, to encompass the entire food and drink industry. Thus changing the name to Food and Drink Qualifications Ltd. This move was highly successful and led to us building a team with high levels of food specific expertise.

Today, Food and Drink Qualifications Ltd is simply known as FDQ Ltd.

MTC, IoM and FDQ

MTC has now regained ownership of the Institute of Meat, and the three bodies work well together. Throughout its history there have been strong links with The Worshipful Company of Butchers, and links are now being developed through the whole food supply chain.

Supporting the industry

Any financial surpluses achieved by the organisation are ploughed back into training, education and qualifications in the food and drink industry. 

Pioneering specialist qualifications

Today FDQ has grown into a true leader in food and drink qualifications, with a passion for driving skills to increase productivity and efficiency as well as to fill skills gaps in the food industry.

MEAT Ipswich learner is FDQ’s 100th EPA success!



 Owen Smith

 Owen Smith learning lamb butchery skills at MEAT Ipswich butchery school.



Owen Smith (18) has become our 100th successful EPA candidate. Owen trained for his butchery apprenticeship with MEAT Ipswich, where his trainer, Stuart Davis, said of him,


"Owen is a pleasant and very well mannered young man. Owen has gained confidence throughout his apprenticeship and has applied his learning to practical situations at his place of work, enabling him to adapt certain practices to suit the needs of the company. "


Originally studying for  ‘A’ levels, Owen realised the academic route wasn’t for him, so applied for an apprentice butcher job with Ansell and Sons in Maldon, Essex. Though at first he struggled working a 39 hour week he enjoyed the butchery training, especially as he was being paid to learn! Since completing his butchery apprenticeship and end-point assessment he has become an integral part of the team. He loves interacting with people and feels he learns something new every day.


Now more than ever apprenticeships are a great way of bringing new people into your team, or developing the skills of existing staff. On 1st April employer contributions were halved from 10% to 5%. This means the Government funds 95% of the apprenticeship training costs. In some circumstances 100% of training costs are covered. Talk to one of our friendly team to find out more.

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