While tradition sees the country eating more lamb at Easter, Britain typically produces the highest volume of lamb during the last six months of the year, with a peak of supply from September through to December.
National Sheep Association Chief Executive, Phil Stocker, said: “Later in the year is a great time to buy flavoursome lamb.
“Tradition has conditioned us to buy lamb at Easter and in the spring, with many shoppers probably unaware that the volume of our home produced lamb increases towards the autumn. With Love Lamb Week landing in the first week of September, it’s a perfect time for our industry to remind people to eat lamb year round.”
Importantly West Country lamb enjoys PGI status. Protected Geographical Indications (PGIs) for West Country lamb is a special status and it took an exhaustive 10-year process to achieve this key marque. PGIs are common on the Continent, but are relatively new in Britain.
Lamb born, reared and raised in the West Country – Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire - is eligible to be badged as PGI providing It adheres to specific criteria. This includes being at least 70 per cent forage fed, which leads to more consistently tender cuts of meat giving an excellent eating experience. All livestock is reared in line with agreed high standards of husbandry and welfare, providing assurance of its quality. Full traceability is one of the markers ensuring the customer can be reassured of the meats’ journey from farm to fork.
The week is an industry-wide initiative involving the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the National Sheep Association (NSA), the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), Red Tractor, HCC in Wales, LMCNI in Northern Ireland and QMS in Scotland.
Shoppers can also get involved with the campaign by visiting SimplyBeefandLamb.co.uk.