The Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland is calling on farmers, processors and businesses to dig deep and donate either lamb proceeds or money to meet the target of delivering three tonnes of lamb to Scottish schools this Autumn for St Andrews Day.
So far, Scotland’s red meat industry has united to deliver an unprecedented amount of lamb to school children across Scotland this St Andrew’s Day with the contributions to date enabling 28,693 pupils in 189 schools to cook or eat lamb this November.
The ambition for the initiative is to deliver into at least one school in every town and in every rural school in Scotland. Alan Hutcheon, IAAS member and director of Aberdeen Northern Marts said they still need a last push n donations, urging famers to contact their local mart this week so they can commit to as many schools as possible and plan appropriately.
“Seeing the industry pull together like this to encourage more school children to taste, eat and cook with Scotch Lamb is exceptional,” said Mr Marts. “The more school children we reach, the more we can share the positive story of eating lamb and sheep farming. This is critical to all of us in the red meat sector, and the very generous donations from across the industry, as well as the commitment of John Scott Meats and Woodhead Brothers to butchering and packing it, make it possible to deliver these benefits with impact.
Lamb for St Andrew’s Day is a marketing initiative kickstarted in 2010 by auctioneers to boost lamb sales among consumers. It has grown rapidly with the support of IAAS, NFU Scotland, National Sheep Association and Quality Meat Scotland, seeing thousands of consumers, businesses and school children eating lamb as part of St Andrew’s Day events.
Farmers selling sheep via an IAAS mart can donate the proceeds from the sale into the Lamb Bank. Other businesses can make direct financial contributions.
QMS will be providing recipes to inspire cooking in schools and homes, designed to appeal to young people and which can be made in 50 minutes. This is part of a wider marketing campaign throughout November to encourage more people across Scotland to cook with lamb for St Andrew’s Day and throughout the rest of the year.
“These donations take the numbers of pupils experiencing cooking with, and tasting, lamb to a whole new level,” said Alex Ritchie of the QMS education team. “The cost of lamb is often a barrier for schools and teachers, which this overcomes. It gives children a memorable, hands-on experience and encourages conversations around the sustainability of Scotch Lamb production.”