The International Butchers‘ Confederation (IBC) is a federation of national associations of small and medium-sized craft butcher and catering companies.
The IBC today represents 16 associations from the countries of the European Union and the EFTA with a total of more than 150,000 craft butcher and catering companies, which together employ nearly 1 million people. The total turnover of this sector amounts in excess of 60 billion euro per year.
When as early as in 1907 already, the International Congress of Butchers’ Association was founded, the way was paved for the future IBC. Since 1st January 1991, the IBC has been represented in Brussels, Belgium, with a permanent Secretariat General. With its own representation in the capital of Europe, the European craft butcher sector speaks with one voice when it defends its interests within the institutions of the European Communities, such as the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Secretariat General of the Council or the Economic and Social Committee.
In 1979, the IBC was one of the founding members of CELCAA, the European Liaison Committee for the Agricultural and Agri-Food Trade. Through CELCAA, the IBC can register national experts of its member federations for the European Commission Advisory Groups on Agriculture and on the Food Chain and Animal Health. In these Commission groups, the interests of the craft butcher sector can be defended early and directly. In July 2000, CELCAA became an associate member of EUROCOMMERCE, the European representation of Retail, Wholesale and International Trade. This adds to the strength of the IBC against the European decision takers.
Once a year and since 1971 already, the IBC has organized the international Young Butchers’ Competition. The competition is an incentive to young people in the trade to increase their performance, their crafts’ skills and creativity. It also ensures a comparison between training levels at international level.
Another comparison between performances at European level takes place every three years: the European Master Butchers’ Cup, a competition organized by the Deutscher Fleischer-Verband (German butchers’ federation) in cooperation with the IBC,on the occasion of the IFAA – the international trade fair of the meat economy – each time in Frankfurt/Main, Germany.
In November 1999, a new yearly event of the IBC took place for the first time, the European Meat Forum, which ever after has established as an institution and which in general takes place in the European Parliament in Brussels. After a public debate of a current topic of agriculture or consumer policies, representatives of the European meat sector have the possibility to talk directly to responsible European Commission officials, members of the European Parliament or representatives of consumer organizations. On that occasion, the European craft butchers’ sector is honoured to also present its guests with the culinary diversity of its trade.