There was a 20% uplift in liveweight lamb prices in Scotland’s auction markets in November for a second year in a row following a successful industry initiative.
In its support of the Scottish sheep sector, the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers (IAAS) led its annual campaign 'Lamb for St Andrew’s Day' in November 2022.
As part of it, the Lamb Bank, which was established in 2020 when Covid restrictions limited large gatherings, gathered generous donations in lamb from the industry.
As a result, cuts of lamb were delivered into schools across Scotland for more than 18,000 pupils to celebrate the patron saint’s day on 30 November.
Neil Wilson, executive director of IAAS, who worked to facilitate the Lamb Bank, said: “This clearly demonstrates the impact of the campaign on improving liveweight lamb prices in Scotland during the month of November.
"[It] shows how a whole industry getting behind a focused campaign can help us all promote our product and support prices at a critical time of the year.”
The long-term vision of Lamb for St Andrew’s Day is for future generations of customers to choose to cook and eat lamb, he explained.
And there is also short-term gain for the industry: “By promoting lamb and sheep meat products at a time when we see a seasonal rise in supply, we are also stimulating demand," Mr Wilson said.
"The benefit of this is that we can help support the farmgate prices through the auction ring at this time of year.”
Over the past three years IAAS has spearheaded this drive to deliver into schools, with support from Quality Meat Scotland, NSA Scotland, Scottish Craft Butchers and NFU Scotland.
As a result, over 62,000 Scottish secondary school children have cooked and eaten lamb in Home Economics classes and school canteens.
Lamb for St Andrew’s Day has also been recognised in the Scottish parliament and has become one of the key lamb promotion events in Scotland.
In 2022, the Lamb Bank received donations from sheep farmers and the wider industry.
And IAAS worked with 43 independent butchers, spending just over £30,000 with them, to process, pack and deliver to secondary schools across Scotland.
“I’d like to thank all the farmers and our auctioneer members who generated donations to our Lamb Bank, to enable this tangible engagement with school pupils," Mr Wilson said.
“I’d like to give a particular mention to Woodhead Brothers in Turriff, who donated lamb for 1880 Aberdeenshire school children, which was kindly delivered by G & M Whyte.”