Agri Food news

LMC and UFU returning to Belfast with Love Lamb Week

Local farmers Roger and Hilary Bell, centre, with their children, Scott and Emma, launch this year’s Love Lamb Week alongside, from left, Ian Stevenson, LMC; Brian Jamieson, NSA; and Sam Chesney, UFU.

Love Lamb Week will see the Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC) and the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU)  returning to the heart of Belfast to encourage consumers to support Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured (NIFQA) lamb.

LMC and UFU will be hosting live cookery demonstrations and sampling sessions at Victoria Square, on Thursday, September 5 and at Belfast City Hall, on Friday, September 6, alongside other retail sampling sessions taking place throughout the week.

Following a very positive response from consumers during Love Lamb Week 2018, this year’s event will give double the opportunity for people to learn about and sample the delights of some fantastic lamb products which will be available.

The UK-wide campaign, which is running from Sunday, September 1 until Saturday, September 7, will also see LMC and UFU taking to social media to showcase all there is to love about locally produced lamb.

Speaking about the initiative, LMC’s Chief Executive, Ian Stevenson said: “Love Lamb Week is all about celebrating the fantastic quality NIFQA lamb our country has to offer.

“Through our various sampling sessions, our main aim is to show consumers just how tasty, versatile and easy lamb is to cook with and to educate them on the nutritional value of adding lamb to a healthy, balanced diet. Lamb can be enjoyed in so many different ways both in and out of the home – either as a traditional roast, in a curry or in a salad and hopefully by attending our sampling sessions, consumers will pick up some culinary tips.

“On a more serious note, with the Brexit deadline of October 31 looming, the current uncertainty our farmers are facing makes it even more important that consumers support and purchase the top quality Northern Ireland lamb that is produced on our doorstep.”

Meanwhile, UFU President, Ivor Ferguson added: “Love Lamb Week is a highlight in our calendar year. It offers a great opportunity to meet members of the general public giving them an insight into lamb production, which is central to the agriculture economy in Northern Ireland, and demonstrate just how adaptable Farm Quality Assured lamb products are.

“Farmers are experiencing a very challenging time with a no-deal Brexit looming and issues regarding climate change, and it’s important we get the message across that sheep production is a key part of maintaining the countryside. Sheep can graze areas that are not accessible to other livestock and help us to maintain our carbon sinks by consuming and converting grass. This is just another example of how farmers can help in the fight against climate change.

“There are also the health benefits of eating red meat such as lamb, which is vital for a healthy, balanced diet. With many cooking options, people can pair lamb with their favourite dishes and we hope that through our sampling sessions we can encourage more people to try and buy local Northern Ireland lamb. By doing so they will be supporting their local farming families and providing their own family with fresh, nutritious lamb they can trust.”

Retail sampling sessions will be taking place between 12pm and 4pm in Asda Omagh and Tesco Craigavon on Thursday, September 5 and in Asda Antrim and Tesco Newtownbreda on Saturday, September 7.

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