Add sustainable British lamb to your festive dinner table, says NSA

18th December 2020

As shoppers prepare to head out to butchers, farm shops and supermarkets this weekend to start their big Christmas food shop, the National Sheep Association (NSA) is suggesting consumers add delicious, sustainably produced British lamb to their festive trolleys this year.
NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker comments: “After such a turbulent year we are all looking forward to enjoying a special meal on Christmas day or various other points of the annual holiday – but for many of us that will be a quieter affair, most likely with fewer friends or family than usual.
“If then you are looking for a slightly smaller joint of meat to enjoy 
over the Christmas period, why not try a delicious leg of lamb or mutton? It can be enjoyed with all the favourite festive trimmings and is a meat that is packed with nutrients and has been sustainably produced in our beautiful countryside using traditional farming methods by the nation’s hard-working sheep farmers. Isn’t that something to celebrate this Christmas time?!”

As we approach Christmas and the end of the year, the nation’s farmers nervously await a decision on whether a trade deal can be secured before the UK’s departure from the EU on 31st December. An interruption to the trade of lamb with Europe, no matter how temporary, could adversely affect the UK sheep sector – so choosing lamb as a Christmas meat this year could help support the sector at this worrying time.
Mr Stocker continues: “Consumers choosing to enjoy lamb this Christmas will not be disappointed and, hopefully, it will encourage the continued consumption of this delicious, healthy meat into the New Year. But be sure to check you are purchasing UK produced lamb and not that imported from our Southern Hemisphere colleagues. Purchasing UK lamb will help to assure a healthy domestic market for sheep meat is maintained at this crucial time.”
As the nation has been forced to spend more time at home this year due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions the consumption of UK produced lamb has actually increased, believed to be due to people spending more time in the kitchen, cooking family meals from scratch. This is an encouraging move that could also be due to successful marketing campaigns by the UK levy boards promoting the taste and versatility offered by lamb and mutton produced in the UK.
Mr Stocker concludes: “Free-range, extensively produced sheepmeat is a great choice year-round, and especially at times of celebration such as Christmas. NSA hopes consumers enjoy it as part of their festivities this year and wishes everyone a very Happy Christmas and positive New Year, whatever that may bring.”