UFU hill farming vice chair Clement Lynch with Jo-Anne McKay and Ian Stevenson from LMC, looking over some of the sheep on his farm, Claudy, ahead of Love Lamb Week. Picture: Cliff Donaldson.
The spotlight will fall on Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured (NIFQA) lamb in the coming days as the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) and Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) partner to promote Love Lamb Week.
“We are delighted to once again partner with the UFU to promote Love Lamb Week,” said LMC chief executive, Ian Stevenson. He added, “LMC has been an avid supporter of Love Lamb Week since its launch in 2015. This year we have a jam-packed line up for Love Lamb Week and we are looking forward to positively profiling NIFQA lamb via sampling events, a radio partnership, press and digital activity.”
The weeklong initiative kicks off on Friday 1 September and will bring into focus the sustainability of sheep production throughout the UK, as well as highlighting the versatility of lamb and its nutritional credentials.
LMC will host a lamb sampling event at the Boulevard Outlet, Banbridge on Thursday 7 September from 12 noon. An invitation is extended to stakeholders and members of the public to attend as well as to explore LMC’s delicious lamb recipes on www.beefandlambni.com
With the UFU emphasising the on-farm production of lamb and LMC highlighting the processing and cooking aspects it is hoped consumers will gain a wholesome view of how NIFQA lamb is produced, and the quality standards upheld at all stages of the supply chain. As well as having a chance to discover how easy lamb is to cook and what a tasty meat it is.
Noting that lamb is a versatile red meat that should not be overlooked, Ian said, “We recognise that lamb is an extremely price sensitive food, and at a time when cost of living presents challenges for many it is of great importance that we as an industry reiterate that lamb is not a meat reserved for special occasions, but one that can be enjoyed as a staple part of a healthy balanced diet. As with all meats, choice of cut will dictate price. LMC have developed a range of lamb recipes, with a variety of cuts to help make lamb a cost effective option for all to enjoy.”
Commenting, UFU deputy president John McLenaghan said “Love Lamb Week is a great opportunity for us to meet members of the general public and to focus on all the positives of lamb production from beginning to end. Sheep production is a key contributor to the local community and wider Northern Ireland (NI) economy for various reasons. It’s a delicious product produced to some of the highest standards in the world, it ticks all the boxes for quality and is one of the ways in which farmers manage the countryside, playing an important role in shaping our environment. Throughout Love Lamb Week, we look forward to raising awareness of sustainable sheep farming in NI that supports the environment, the health benefits of including locally produced lamb in our diet and demonstrate how adaptable and versatile NI Farm Quality Assured lamb products are.”