Farm leaders have urged sheep farmers to get behind the sector-wide Love Lamb Week marketing campaign to help promote the industry.
The major campaign is organised by levy bodies across the devolved regions and it runs from 1-7 September.
It aims to promote a positive image from production to plate and encourage domestic consumption of UK lamb at its seasonal peak in availability.
The National Sheep Association (NSA) called on producers to take part by sharing stories of sustainability, high animal welfare and positive insights into farming.
NSA communications manager Katie James hailed the initiative, which is in its eighth year, and has proved successful in promoting a positive image and increasing sales.
Today marks the start of Love Lamb Week 2022🐑🍴
LLW aims to shine a light on the sustainability of UK sheep production, whilst also reminding consumers of the exceptional taste, quality and nutritional value of UK lamb 🍃🌦
— National Sheep Association (@natsheep) September 1, 2022
But Ms James said the success could be further amplified if more sheep farmers took part through activities in their communities and via social media.
“Love Lamb Week is the annual celebration of all that is so good about our UK sheep sector. It is an opportunity to champion the hard work of our sheep farmers,” she said.
“It promotes the delicious product, as well as the care and devotion they show in maintaining the UK’s unique and beautiful landscape.
“These are messages consumers want to see and read about, and ones that can help push them to add more lamb and mutton to their shopping baskets and trollies.”
The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has also urged farmers to support the campaign at a time when promoting demand is vital against a backdrop of soaring input costs.
The union’s beef and lamb chair Pat McKay said: “Sheep farmers have been enduring soaring production costs since early spring and it has put great financial pressure on their farm business.”
Mr McKay highlighted the sector’s crucial role in tackling climate change by capturing carbon and producing a sustainable source of protein from otherwise unproductive land.
How to get involved with Love Lamb Week
Levy bodies have an extensive bank of resources to help promote the campaign messages, including graphics, recipe ideas and information to share on social media.
The AHDB has suggested five ways to take part:
- Display campaign information Available free through the levy boards, including recipe leaflets, posters, farmgate banners and sticker sheets
- Follow Love Lamb Week on social media Use @LoveLambWeek on Twitter, @lovelambuk on Instagram, and @LoveLambWeek on Facebook
- Share photographs of lamb meals Use #LoveLamb and #LoveLambWeek on social media and tag the Love Lamb account in posts
- Display the Love Lamb Twibbon Use across profile pictures on Facebook and Twitter to show your support
- Share positive sheep farming stories Use the range of assets on levy board websites
The industry-wide initiative is facilitated by the AHDB, Quality Meat Scotland, Hybu Cig Cymru and the Livestock and Meat Commission.
It is supported by the National Sheep Association, NFU, NFU Scotland, UFU, the Tenant Farmers Association, the National Trust, and Red Tractor.