REFLECTING on another busy Love Lamb Week, the Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC) and the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) say it was a great success with positive support for the industry shown throughout the week.
As part of the UK-wide campaign, LMC and the UFU hosted live cookery demonstrations and sampling sessions at Victoria Square and Belfast City Hall alongside other retail sampling sessions in Asda, with lamb supplied by ABP Food Group, and Tesco stores across Northern Ireland.
Both organisations also made use of social media to remind consumers about the benefits of purchasing Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured (NIFQA) lamb and incorporating it as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Commenting on the initiative, LMC’s Industry Development Man-ager Colin Smith said: “It was very encouraging to receive so much positive support for the industry during the week. I’m delighted that this year’s Love Lamb Week was another great success.
“Our main aim was to show consumers how versatile, tasty and easy NIFQA lamb is to cook with. Furthermore, we wanted to educate consumers about what they should be looking for when purchasing lamb and to encourage them to support our local farmers.
“There was plenty of engagement and discussion and we were delighted to hear many consumers say they would be looking out for our logo and trying our delicious recipes at home.
“In these uncertain times, it’s very important to have those conversations with consumers and to urge them to support local farmers. We produce world class lamb here in Northern Ireland and it’s important that support from consumers continues going forward.
“Love Lamb Week may be over for this year but our support for the industry doesn’t stop there. The third year of our advertising campaign has already kicked off and until March 2020 we’ll be focusing on TV, radio, outdoor and digital platforms to encourage consumers to support our top quality lamb.”
Meanwhile UFU Beef and Lamb Chairman, Sam Chesney said: “Love Lamb Week 2019 was a great success and gave us the opportunity to meet consumers and showcase our world-class lamb products.
“Our farmers chatted to members of the public explaining how Northern Ireland lamb is farmed to the highest animal welfare standards and that lamb production is a key part of maintaining the countryside, not to mention the numerous health benefits of eating lamb. Important facts that tend to fly under the radar but are key selling points of our NIFQA lamb.”
Joe McDonald, Asda, added: “Asda was once again delighted to support Love Lamb Week and welcome LMC, UFU, ABP Food Group and local sheep farmers to our Antrim and Omagh stores.
“The Oriental Lamb Stir Fry samples were a big hit with Asda shoppers, but it remains a hugely competitive protein sector and there is much to do as a supply chain to grow lamb sales. Certainly, for local lamb producers the Brexit stakes couldn’t be higher and it was good to speak directly to some of ABP’s lamb suppliers during Love Lamb Week to hear their views first hand.”