Love Lamb Week to celebrate all things lamb
1st September 2021
Every year since 2015 Love Lamb Week has taken place between the 1st and 7th of September. The week sees industry leaders and the farming community come together to celebrate all things lamb.
Lead by AHDB and the NSA, this year’s Love Lamb Week has a focus on the sustainability benefits of sheep farming in the UK, as well as promoting the nutritional value of the meat.
The UK has long been a world leader in lamb production, as our weather and environment are well suited to sheep farming, and with 70% of sheep in the UK living on land unsuitable for crops it remains an important industry to preserve. The event is timed to encourage the domestic consumption of lamb at its peak season of availability.
Love Lamb Week was established in 2015 by Cumbrian sheep farmer Rachel Lumley in response to poor lamb prices and low domestic consumption. Unfortunately prices are still low, with factors such as the pandemic and staff shortages putting additional pressure on farmers this year. The week will provide a boast to the country’s sheep farmers and everyone is being encouraged to get involved in the event. In previous years the campaign has caught the attention of celebrity chefs, media, and the public.
NFU livestock board chairman Richard Findlay spoke out about why they support the campaign; “British sheep farmers produce some of the finest quality lamb in the world. What’s more, we are proud to say that we have some of the most sustainable systems, using our natural resources and landscapes – landscapes which are often unsuitable for other types of food production – to turn inedible grass into a tasty, nutritious protein.
“There is a real pride in sheep farming in this country – a pride which stems from the sector’s prominence in British history and culture, from how it has helped shape our iconic countryside through the ages to its incredibly high standards of animal health and welfare.
“We are at a crucial time for British farming, as the government seeks to do free trade deals with countries around the world. Sheep farming in particular faces challenges from recent and impending deals with Australia and New Zealand which could see sizeable increases in lamb imports coming into the UK tariff-free. This would under-cut many sheep farmers who are working with ever-increasing costs of production and changes to government support schemes.
“As we join Love Lamb Week, it is a good time to remind government that we can all benefit from a trade policy that recognises the value of British lamb, worth around £2.5 billion to the national economy, and it’s potential both at home and abroad.”