Over the past 15 years, fewer people have been regularly eating the very British meat, and with those aged 55 years and over making up the lion’s share of the market, time is ticking for lamb.
Now twelve young sheep farmers and shepherds, who care for flocks across the country, are championing Love Lamb Week to inspire consumers and demonstrate how tasty, healthy and easy it is to cook.
Twenty-three-year-old Thomas Vickers, an upland sheep farmer from County Durham, said: “We want to make sure that delicious lamb isn’t on its last leg with young consumers.
“Whether grazing our moorlands, maintaining our marshlands or looking after our lowlands, sheep are very much a part of our British identity. The different landscapes in which sheep are raised means that almost every time you buy lamb, you’re buying an artisan product packed with flavour and nourishment.”
While the campaign is championed by young sheep farmers and shepherds, there is also the opportunity for the country’s retailers, restauranteurs and butchers to remind consumers how lovely lamb is.
Chef Chris Wheeler said: “Lamb is one of the tastiest and flavoursome sources of protein and iron. It can be cooked in a variety of ways, adding a British touch to a middle-eastern dish, starring as a tasty burger or bringing balance to a spicy curry. It’s much more than a Sunday roast or an Easter treat. Lamb can be part of the menu any day of the week.”
Now in its third year, Love Lamb Week runs from 1 to 7 September and is organised by farming organisations, the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the National Sheep Association (NSA) and supported by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).
Helping families to gain confidence cooking lamb, AHDB has this year formed a Love Lamb Week partnership with parenting advice website, Mumsnet.
Nick White, lamb marketer at AHDB, said: “Many families go into auto-pilot mode when shopping for food, buying the same ingredients, so the thought of trying something different can feel daunting – particularly when time and money is tight.
“We’d like to give mums and dads the confidence to cook lamb using leg steaks as an easy introduction. They are low fat, relatively low price and can be cooked in less than 15 minutes, with advice from Mumsnet and recipes on Simply Beef and Lamb website, families can feed their flock with an easy and nutritious meal.”
Alongside the Mumsnet partnership, the Simply Beef and Lamb Facebook and Instagram feeds will be sharing the love for lamb, highlighting simple and delicious recipes, including: the Lamb Leg Steak with Herb and Paprika Rub and a spin on a well-known classic, the Lamb Caesar Salad!’
Representing sheep farmers across the UK, Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, said: “A strategically planned Love Lamb Week is a brilliant way to bring focus to many existing lamb promotional activities. NSA is pleased to be working with AHDB to drive activity on social media, encourage local and farm-based events and target media in the lead up and during the week to point consumers in the direction of lamb during its peak season.”
To show your support for Love Lamb Week, visit Simplybeefandlamb.co.uk. The new logo, recipe videos, images of the young sheep farmers and further information can be downloaded here.
Love Lamb Week is one of the initiatives within AHDB’s commitment to inspire British agriculture and horticulture to become more competitive and resilient, as part of its 2017–2020 strategy Inspiring Success.