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Strengthening the global reputation of Lamb for St Andrew’s Day

24/01/2024
Left to Right: Neil Wilson Executive Directir IAAS, Alasdair Allan, SNP MSP for the Western Isles and member of the Rural Affairs and Islands Committee, Sarah Millar CEO QMS, George Purves Managing Director United Auctions

THE growing success of Scotch Lamb for St Andrew’s Day owes to a collaborative approach between farmers, representative organisations, and rural businesses.  The lead up to the globally recognised celebration of Scotland’s patron saint last November saw initiatives to promote the versatility of cooking with lamb reach thousands of consumers worldwide. Figures show that during the last three years, sales in livestock marts to butchers and processors have increased in November each year, demonstrating the growing impacts of the campaign.

Scotch Lamb took to the fore of the Make It Scotch and QMS socials, exhibiting lamb dishes which reached more than 70,000 consumers, elevating the profile of Lamb for St Andrew’s Day.  QMS social media posts focused on how to get involved, recipes using lamb from local Scotch butchers, and the international events where Scotch Lamb was being served.

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QMS worked closely with the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland (IAAS) to deliver the Lamb for St Andrew’s Day school initiative and supported the promotion of lamb donations to the IAAS ‘lamb bank’, which saw lamb distributed to local butchers, for schools to collect, to cook with.  During November a total of 3.1 metric tonnes of Scotch lamb fed 24,716 children throughout 149 Scottish schools, spreading awareness of this locally abundant, healthy, and sustainable food source.  Over the last four years, more than 86,000 pupils have benefited from the collaborative initiative, thanks to the generous donations of Scottish sheep farmers.  The value of the selected donation is given to the lamb bank when selling through the ring, or farmers can contact the IAAS to make a direct donation.

IAAS Executive Director, Neil Wilson, said: “The campaign was another success with auctioneers and butchers working together to deliver lamb to Scottish Schools as well as working with QMS to promote lamb more widely than ever before.”

A special COP 28 dinner was one of several events developing the reputation of Lamb for St Andrew’s Day overseas.  The dinner, organised by Scottish Development International (SDI) and supported by QMS, saw guests treated to lamb from Aberdeenshire-based Woodhead Brothers, the first Scottish meat processers to receive accreditation to supply the lamb market in the Middle East.

QMS Chair, Kate Rowell said: “The COP 28 dinner offered an excellent opportunity to showcase Scotch Lamb to a market that could have significant worth to the Scottish Sheep industry, with the Middle East importing an annual average of £571 million worth of sheep meat in recent years.  High-quality Scotch lamb has a wonderful story, being a healthy, sustainable product, which appeals to consumers around the world.”

Celebrations continued closer to home, as Scotch Lamb took centre stage at a dinner for 350 delegates at the British Ambassador’s Residence in Paris, including many from France’s food service, for which Scotbeef supplied the meat.  On home turf, Scotch Lamb was served, and sold out, in the canteen for Members of Parliament and staff at Holyrood, as QMS and the IAAS met with MSPs and spoke about the growing success of the Lamb for St Andrew’s Day campaign.  The National Sheep Association also celebrated Scotch lamb during its annual dinner with 100 guests enjoying lamb supplied by Gilmour Butchers and sponsored by QMS.

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