The next generation of sheep farmers has called on the next generation of shoppers to put lamb back on plates across Britain through Love Lamb Week.
Over the past 15 years, fewer people have been regularly eating the very British meat, and with those aged 55 years and over making up the lion’s share of the market, time is ticking for lamb.
This year the annual campaign runs from 1-7 September, and social media users are being urged to tweet the hashtag #LoveLambWeek
Love Lamb Week is one of the initiatives within AHDB’s commitment to inspire British agriculture and horticulture to become more competitive and resilient.
"We want to make sure that delicious lamb isn't on its last leg with young consumers," said 23 year old Thomas Vickers, an upland sheep farmer from County Durham.
"Whether grazing our moorlands, maintaining our marshlands or looking after our lowlands, sheep are very much a part of our British identity.
"The different landscapes in which sheep are raised means that almost every time you buy lamb, you're buying an artisan product packed with flavour and nourishment."
Lamb is versatile, delicious and easy to cook says County Antrim, Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) hill farming chairman, John Kennedy.
“Northern Ireland produces some of the best quality lamb and it is recognised as such, particularly in export markets. However, here at home lamb is often overlooked and we want to see that change.”
UFU beef and lamb chairman Crosby Cleland, who farms in County Down, backs that view.
“Consumers are increasingly interested in provenance and buying local. Since sheep are a fundamental part of Northern Ireland’s countryside and agri-food industry, eating lamb is an excellent and tasty way to support local farmers,” he says.