23 August 2001
Farmer persuades chef to buy British

By Isabel Davies

A HILL farmer who persuaded a top chef to buy his lambs rather than import animals from the Pyrenees is encouraging other farmers to do the same.

John Warmerdam contacted Marco Pierre Whites new restaurant in Knightsbridge, London after discovering that it was importing Pyrenean light lamb legs.

Mr Warmerdam believed his own lambs, which have a unique flavour thanks to the natural herbs and heather on which they graze, would prove just as suitable.

A trial run proved successful and the restaurant has now agreed to buy the entire flock of 100 light mountain lambs from Lochgilphead, Argyll.

“I am extremely pleased with the result,” said Mr Warmerdam.

“My intention was to promote the heritage of the hillsides and to save the lambs from unnecessary waste,” he added.

“It had been my belief for years that the quality and taste of this breed of Scottish Blackface mountain lamb is deserving of marketing in its own right.

Export restrictions provided me with the perfect opportunity to do this.”