Farmers donate 1.2 tonnes of lamb for school campaign

Donations from the marts and farmers have exceeded 1.25 tonnes of butchered lamb
Donations from the marts and farmers have exceeded 1.25 tonnes of butchered lamb

More than 9,800 schoolchildren will be eating lamb donated by Scottish farmers and livestock auction marts as part of 'Make It Lamb for St Andrew's Day'.

Over 100 primary and secondary schools across the country will be taking part in the initiative, spearheaded by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

Donations from the marts, farmers and consultants have exceeded 1.25 tonnes of butchered lamb which will be delivered this week.

The Make It Lamb for St Andrew’s Day campaign is supported by industry groups such as NFU Scotland and the National Sheep Association.

It builds on the work of auction mart, United Auctions, who since 2012 has been promoting lamb as the meat of choice for St Andrew’s Day on 30 November.

This year, the Institute of Auctioneers (IAAS) has asked marts and farmers to donate lamb for schools.

The Institute will manage the delivery of the lamb, packed by John Scott Meat of Paisley and ready to cook, to 114 participating schools.

IAAS Executive Director, Neil Wilson said: “We have had an exceptional response from schools from Shetland to Castle Douglas, Arran to Aberdeen.

"This is an opportunity for us to promote our customers’ lamb and also show that our auction marts really want to make a difference to consumer attitudes to lamb and to support the schools in our local areas.

"The more we can encourage the consumers of tomorrow, as well as of today, to enjoy cooking and eating lamb, the more we benefit the whole industry from farmer to retailer.”

The aim of QMS' campaign is to encourage everyone in Scotland to make Scotch Lamb the dish for the national patron’s day, in the same way that haggis is synonymous with Burns Night and turkey with Christmas.

Alix Ritchie, education manager at QMS, who works with teaching staff across Scotland, said the marts and farmers had been 'incredibly generous'.

"Donating lamb like this allows us, as an industry, to reach a huge number of young people and to inspire and educate them about the role of red meat as part of a healthy balanced diet."

Last year, over 1,500 people in Scotland celebrated 30 November with Scotch Lamb in a number of organised events.