New energy has been put into the promotion of quality mutton in a renewed initiative from National Sheep Association (NSA) and the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA).
Extending the work of the Mutton Renaissance Club, an initiative of HRH The Prince of Wales, the partners with sponsorship from Eblex, HCC, and LMSNI intend to use their joint expertise to invigorate the mutton market. The renewed work will assist producers, processors and retailers in making quality mutton once again available to all, as it was as recently as 80 years ago.
Having suffered for over 50 years from a combination of changed fashions, some poor wartime folk-memories, and busy modern life styles, this once lauded gem of British cookery is now starting to recover some of its lost ground, finding new enthusiasts in restaurants and homes across the UK.
Mutton, the meat from sheep over two years old, used to be more popular than beef. Since the Second World War it declined to the point where, with the exception of the most discerning families, it virtually disappeared from our dinner tables – until the work of the Mutton Renaissance Club started some 10 years ago. A decline in numbers of sheep towards the end of the first decade in the new millennium and consequent market distortion with high prices and poor quality product acted against the developing interest in mutton. It is only now, with a more stable sheep population, that it has been thought sensible to encourage new enthusiasts for quality mutton from production through to the consumers.
Joining the partners will be Bob Kennard, who has a long history of processing and selling mutton. He says: “Quality is the key to a satisfying mutton meal. It depends on having the right quality of animal to begin with and then ensuring it is treated properly at every stage along the supply line. This initiative will help producers, processors retailers and consumers to have a first rate eating experience, the target which has to be met every time.”
Bob is keen to hear from existing quality mutton producers, as well as processors and retailers, so that every opportunity is taken advantage of to raise the profile and increase interest in quality mutton.
The new initiative will have its first outing at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair at Builth Wells on 1st and 2nd December, where Bob Kennard will be manning a stand in the Food Hall. Information will also be available at the main NSA stand in the Livestock Area.