The sheep industry will again celebrate all that is great about lamb produced in the UK as farmers and industry leaders take part in events as part of Love Lamb Week 2018 next month, running from Saturday 1st to Friday 7th September.
The Love Lamb campaign, now in its fourth year, will this year aim to change perceptions of when to eat lamb, emphasising that the highest volume of UK product is actually available during the last six months of the year despite many consumers typically choosing to enjoy lamb around Easter time.
The National Sheep Association (NSA) will once again be involved in the industrywide campaign, alongside AHDB Beef & Lamb and other UK levy bodies, and its membership of sheep farmers will be using social media and local events to promote themselves and their fantastic produce during the week.
NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker says: “The support for Love Lamb week has grown year on year since it started as a social media campaign by Cumbrian sheep farmer Rachel Lumley in 2015. As well as encouraging consumers to eat more lamb, NSA believes educating them to understand its availability is crucial.
“Tradition has conditioned us to buy lamb at Easter and in the spring, with 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 enjoy lamb year round.”
Lending support to the campaign are the NSA Next Generation Ambassadors, a group of young sheep farmers keen to open the eyes of consumers who may not be aware of the environment in which their lamb is produced and all that the sheep sector does to protect and enhance it.
Next Generation Ambassador Catherine Sanderson from North Yorkshire believes farmers have a responsibility to look after the environment especially in the current climate: “After the unpredictable weather we have experienced this year it has hit home how important it is to protect the environment in mitigating climate change as much as possible to ensure reliable food supplies in the future. It is also so important for promoting wildlife on the farm.
“We entered into a new environmental stewardship scheme that has helped us to fund a field with pollinator mix in to help bees. We also have a lot of trees and hedges which provide habitats and food for birds as well as providing shelter for our sheep.”
Look out for plenty of activity in the first week of September on social media #LoveLamb and #LoveLambWeek.
NSA is also encouraging individual farmers to get involved at whatever level they can, be that hosting or supporting local or on-farm events or by sharing their delicious lamb recipe ideas on social media. A range of resources to support this are available via www.nationalsheep.org.uk/lovelamb as well as further recipe ideas and images available to download at www.beefandlamb.ahdb.org.uk/marketing/love-lamb-week-2018/