Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and the Scotch Butchers Club is once again supporting the industry-wide initiative, Lamb For St Andrew’s Day, to encourage people across the UK to choose Scotch Lamb GI when celebrating the patron saint’s day.
Alongside social media activity, QMS’ Health & Education team is engaging with schools, and Scotch Butchers’ Club members with customers in store and the catering trade, to make Scotch Lamb the first choice for St Andrew’s Day as haggis is for Burn’s night and turkey for Christmas.
A consumer-facing campaign will be built on easy-to-make and cost-effective lamb recipes as well as cooking inspiration across digital channels and two dedicated video productions to show Scotch Lamb as a comforting and desirable dish for the celebration.
Gordon Newlands, QMS Brands Development Manager and manager of the Scotch Butchers Club, is working with butchery retailers to boost sales of lamb for the occasion, providing marketing materials to be shared online and at counters. He said:
“The goal is to see Scotch Lamb synonymous with St Andrew’s Day, and shoppers to instinctively choose a cut of lamb whether they are celebrating at home, eating in the local pub or organising a St Andrew’s Day event. Each year, Lamb for St Andrew’s Day has gained greater momentum, and it’s excellent to see so many industry representatives take a leading role in helping market and promote Scotch Lamb. For 2022, we want to push this even further and for everyone across the industry to be an ambassador at even the most basic level, whether it is sharing posts on social media or asking friends and family if they will be eating lamb this St Andrew’s Day.”
Lamb for St Andrew’s Day was initiated by livestock auctioneer, George Purves, with sheep farmer, Willie Mitchell, in 2010 when on the Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme. In 2020, they took it a step further with the Institute of Appraisers and Auctioneers (IAAS) starting a Lamb Bank seeking donations, both in lamb and financial, so they could deliver lamb to schools across Scotland for free, to be cooked in Home Economics classes or canteens in the last week of November. Over 62,000 school children have since benefited from over two tonnes of donated lamb.
QMS is working closely with Scotland’s livestock auctioneers and IAAS to support the Lamb Bank again this year. In addition to the marts and IAAS managing the lamb donations, packing and delivery to schools, QMS’ Meat Vouchers are available for Home Economics teachers to exchange for lamb at their local butcher to cook with in class.
The QMS Health and Education team, run by Alix Ritchie and Jennifer Robertson, is also providing lesson plans, worksheets and PowerPoint presentations to support teachers to tell the story of seasonal and sustainable lamb production in Scotland, the positive environmental aspects of grazing and the health and nutritional benefits of the meat. Produced in line with the school curriculum, these are easy and appealing for teachers to integrate. They have also created two recipes designed for in-class cooking Scotch Lamb Dhansak in a Dash and Scotch Lamb Naan Pizzas.
Ms Ritchie said:
“The response from teachers over the last couple of years perfectly demonstrates the powerful impact of having the product in schools to really bring the whole story to life. Not only does it give many children who may not have eaten lamb before the chance to taste it, but it provides a talking point to discuss lamb production, and the positive steps farmers are taking to naturally produce this nutritious meat. Our role is to support the teachers as much as we can with the resources they need to make it easy to transpose into the classroom, and this is hugely enhanced by the donations of lamb made by the industry.”
The National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS) and National Sheep Association Scotland (NSAS) are also supporting the initiative.
To keep up with QMS’ activities during the #LambForStAndrewsDay campaign, follow @MakeItScotch on social media.