As Love Lamb Week approaches, NFU Cymru is continuing to work with farmers across the country to showcase delicious, nutritious and climate friendly PGI Welsh Lamb. Now in its ninth year, Love Lamb Week runs from 1st to 7th of September and aims to shine a light on the sustainability of UK sheep production, whilst also reminding consumers of the exceptional taste and quality that UK lamb brings to the dinner table.
Welsh sheep farmers produce the finest quality lamb in the world. Our landscapes and climate conditions make us extremely proud that our country is one of the world’s most sustainable places to produce red meat. We are able to turn inedible grass into a tasty, nutritious protein, on landscapes that are often unsuitable for other types of food production.
There is a real pride in sheep farming in this country – a pride which stems from the sector’s prominence in Welsh history and culture, from how it has helped shape our iconic countryside through the ages to its incredibly high standards of animal health and welfare.
We are at a crucial time for Welsh farming, as the UK Government seeks to agree further free trade deals with countries around the world. Sheep farming, in particular, faces challenges from recent deals with Australia, New Zealand and other countries, which could see sizeable increases in lamb imports coming into the UK tariff-free. This would undercut many sheep farmers who are working with ever-increasing costs of production and face changes to government support schemes.
Retailers and food service businesses have a huge part to play in the promotion of home-grown lamb. That’s why we’re urging retailers to honour their sourcing commitments, champion Welsh lamb produced to world-leading standards and support their suppliers.
Levy payer investment in targeted campaigns such as Love Lamb Week is vitally important for the whole supply chain, from farm businesses and processors to retailers and food service, to help promote the benefits of eating red meat as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
As we join in with Love Lamb Week, it is a good time to remind our governments in Cardiff and Westminster of the importance of the sector to Wales and the need for policy and trade agreements that will ensure a productive and profitable future for our sector.
Most importantly, we hope that this week will provide the opportunity for more people to have a go at trying out a delicious homecooked PGI Welsh Lamb dish. There are plenty of easy to make, nutritious and affordable recipes for all the family to try on the Eat Welsh Lamb and Beef website. You can feed the whole family with some of the many recipes available for free so please visit the Love Lamb Week website for more information about how you can get involved.