9 November 2001

Farmers Club chef gives full backing to light lamb initiative

By Mike Stones

THE Farmers Club is an enthusiastic supporter of light lamb supplied by leading producer meat initiative Farmers First.

"Excellent quality lamb," was the verdict of the London-based clubs head chef Don Irwin after he ordered three whole carcasses.

"I was sceptical before the meat arrived because in my 38 years as a chef I had never heard of light lamb. But the quality was first class. The portions of leg, shoulder and cutlet we served to a Welsh farmers dining club went down very well," said Mr Irwin.

He praised the initiative, promoted by farmers weekly, but advised different meat cutting techniques would be needed if sales to the catering trade were to be increased.

"We were so impressed we will order more lamb from Farmers First. But if the company wants to boost sales into catering outlets, it should contact individual chefs to find out how they would like the meat to be cut."

Farmers First marketing director Mike Gooding said the company recognised the need for specific butchery and cuts for specific markets. "Its particularly important for the London restaurant trade where there is a real opportunity to supply good quality meat direct from producers. This is a market we plan to serve next year when we have the right cutting facilities in place."

Meanwhile, total orders for light lamb have exceeded 2600 involving over 2500 lamb carcasses. "The total value of Farmers First light lamb sales now stands at £166,700 and we have raised £5600 for the ARC Addington Fund," said Mr Gooding. &#42

Bag a bargain

To enjoy top quality British lamb while supporting farmers who have lost out due to the foot-and-mouth crisis, telephone your orders on 0870-2410153.

Whole lamb boxes are offered at £65 including packaging, delivery to the door and a £2 donation to the ARC-Addington Fund. Half lamb boxes cost £35 and cover packaging, delivery and a £1 donation to the fund.

The fund gives emergency financial aid to those hit by F&M helping farmers and others directly dependent on agriculture for their living.