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Get involved with Love Lamb Week

Sheep farmers across the UK are uniting to increase public awareness of home-grown British lamb and boost consumption. Danusia Osiowy takes a look at the Love British Lamb campaign. 

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British lamb is set to be in the spotlight soon as a group of young sheep farmers from across the UK get ready to headline a new industry campaign.

 

Leading the way in promoting the Love Lamb Week campaign, founded by Cumbrian sheep farmer Rachel Lumley, are the National Sheep Association (NSA) Next Generation Ambassadors, a group of young sheep farmers from round the UK who are passionate about their work producing premium British lamb for consumption at home and abroad.

 

As part of a series of delivery sessions through the year to develop their skills as sheep farmers and promoters of the sheep industry, the group recently met with James Manning to discuss how to grow a positive image of the sheep sector during the week-long campaign.

 

James, a Herefordshire-based farmer and star of Channel 4’s First Time Farmers and BBC2’s Harvest Time, believes the initiative will drive interest towards home-reared lamb.

 

He says: “The campaign is a fantastic idea and such a brilliant way for farmers, local businesses and the media to pull together and directly target the public to encourage uptake and confidence in cooking with British lamb.

 

Farmers, retailers and consumers are being encouraged to become involved, whether it be hosting or supporting local and farm-based events, highlighting Love Lamb Week to local farm shops, butchers or pubs, or to get involved on social media and tweet using #lovelamb and #lovelambweek.

 

Phil Stocker, NSA chief executive, says: “British Lamb Week has been borne out of immediate need, due to recent poor lamb prices.

“This, coupled with average UK consumption falling, means it is clear we must do more to build our domestic market in the UK.

 

“We should recognise there have been late summer lamb promotions run for many years in UK, but this strategically-planned campaign will bring more focus to these existing promotional activities and add to it by encouraging more social media activity, local and farm-based events, and media coverage.”

Founder

"There really is nothing better than healthier-fed Swaledale lamb but few people experience it" Rachel Lumley

British lamb is set to be in the spotlight soon as a group of young sheep farmers from across the UK get ready to headline a new industry campaign.

 

Leading the way in promoting the Love Lamb Week campaign, founded by Cumbrian sheep farmer Rachel Lumley, are the National Sheep Association (NSA) Next Generation Ambassadors, a group of young sheep farmers from round the UK who are passionate about their work producing premium British lamb for consumption at home and abroad.

 

As part of a series of delivery sessions through the year to develop their skills as sheep farmers and promoters of the sheep industry, the group recently met with James Manning to discuss how to grow a positive image of the sheep sector during the week-long campaign.

 

James, a Herefordshire-based farmer and star of Channel 4’s First Time Farmers and BBC2’s Harvest Time, believes the initiative will drive interest towards home-reared lamb.

 

He says: “The campaign is a fantastic idea and such a brilliant way for farmers, local businesses and the media to pull together and directly target the public to encourage uptake and confidence in cooking with British lamb.

 

Farmers, retailers and consumers are being encouraged to become involved, whether it be hosting or supporting local and farm-based events, highlighting Love Lamb Week to local farm shops, butchers or pubs, or to get involved on social media and tweet using #lovelamb and #lovelambweek.

 

Phil Stocker, NSA chief executive, says: “British Lamb Week has been borne out of immediate need, due to recent poor lamb prices.

“This, coupled with average UK consumption falling, means it is clear we must do more to build our domestic market in the UK.

 

“We should recognise there have been late summer lamb promotions run for many years in UK, but this strategically-planned campaign will bring more focus to these existing promotional activities and add to it by encouraging more social media activity, local and farm-based events, and media coverage.”

Involvement

Rachel believes everyone with an interest in the UK sheep sector can get involved with the campaign, whether by getting involved in social media or supporting local events.

 

“Ambassadors will get involved through their regional structures organising tasting events at local shows and farm shops.

 

Butchers across the UK will also be running promotions and competitions and some are creating specific new products for the week.

 

“We also have some fantastic chefs getting involved who are developing specific seasonal lamb recipes.

 

“I think we really do need to all work together, especially when it comes to promoting the benefits of sustainable sheep production.

 

“There is too much talk of decreasing meat consumption to save the planet when, in reality we need an increase in sustainably produced red meat from grazing systems.

 

“With much talk of lynx reintroduction and sheepwrecking of the uplands, it is more important than ever we all support the UK’s sheep farmers.”

Honey-glazed rack of lamb

Honey-glazed rack of lamb
Ingredients:
  • For the lamb:
  • A six-boned lean rack of lamb, French trimmed and chined
  • 3tbsp clear honey
  • 4 tspn light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped mint
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 25g butter
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 tsp plain or sauce flour
  • 150ml dry red wine
  • 300ml good, hot beef stock
  • 2 tspn freshly chopped rosemary leaves
Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200degC/Gas mark 6
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the honey, soy sauce, mustard and mint
  3. Place the racks fat side up on a chopping board and lightly score. Season on both sides and brush the rack on both sides with the honey mixture. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet
  4. Roast for 30-35 minutes for medium. Cover the bones with foil if browning too quickly
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Heat the butter in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the onions and carrots over a moderate heat for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Add the flour and cook for one to two minutes, stirring continuously. Pour in the wine and stock
  6. Increase the heat and bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently until thickened. Add the rosemary, season, cover and set aside
  7. Cut the rack into cutlets and serve with a gooey cheese mash, fine green beans and the sauce

NSA Next Generation Ambassador

Tom Richards, otherwise known as Ernie, is a first generation farmer from Leintwardine, Herefordshire.

 

After graduating in agriculture with animal science at Aberystwyth University, he moved to Hay-on-Wye where he is now employed as a shepherd helping run the Wenoog flock of Lleyns.

 

Tom, 23, says: “I applied to be an ambassador to gain new skills and benefits, both personally and professionally, enhancing my career prospects.

 

“Having the chance to work alongside young people in the industry has meant fresh ideas and views are being exchanged, forming new approaches to management.

 

“It is a good chance to socialise, but also stimulates my enthusiasm in the Wernoog flock to retain and improve the flock’s potential.

Tom will be taking part in Love Lamb Week and promoting the meat to fellow young people.

 

“As an active young shepherd and Young Farmer, I would have promoted the sector regardless as I feel more people need to get up and shout about what we do.

 

“Farmers love to talk, so we need to use this skill. I especially enjoy meeting new people, telling them what I do and why, but most of all I say why I love eating British sheepmeat and lamb.

 

In his role as chairman of Teme Valley YFC, he is organising a visit to Weobley Ash, a local farm shop which sells lamb and mutton.

“We are going to tell the story of the products and use tastings to see how good lamb and mutton is.

 

“It is extremely important to get young people eating lamb, since it is generally eaten by the older generation.

 

“I am also going to get the local press involved and see if they can advertise it. Throughout the week I will buy, eat and make different dishes with lamb, promoting and sharing them through social media.

 

“We need to encourage other ways of serving lamb. Selling and marketing lamb in cuts which are more convenient will encourage young people to use it for cooking in things like kebabs or stir frys.

 

I also want the campaign to give a good light on the industry and sheep sector, making the public realise we are passionate about the products we produce.”

 

Tom is not shy at speaking with the public and he recently held a farm tour ahead of the NSA Sheep Event last month.

 

“Giving other farmers and people an insight to our farming system and the sheep we produce, I do not feel intimated by trying to change the public image and awareness. If anything I enjoy it.

 

“I want to get involved to change people’s thoughts and promote an industry I love.”

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