Opinion: English lamb with all the (imported) trimmings

There is a Turkish barber in my local town which I use.

I don’t have much hair as we all know, but they make a nice ceremony of trimming my eyebrows which makes me feel good about myself.

They even spray my head with a bit of olive oil and give it a little polish as though it is an antique mahogany card table.

I’m not sure if this is a Turkish custom or whether my hair loss is being satirised but I’m past caring now and it smells nice so I keep going back.

See also: Farmers shouldn’t waste money on generic advertising

The reason I mention all this is not because I am desperate to fill up this page with words. Well, it’s not just for that reason.

Matthew Naylor is the managing director of Naylor Flowers and a Nuffield scholar.

Super soaraway Sun

I mention it because I feel I have to explain how I came to be reading The Sun. People like me don’t read The Sun, but it is the only reading matter in the Turkish barbers in my local town. And there was a queue. And I was bored.

Anyway, in the The Sun was a large colour advert advertising English lamb. It was a recipe for a mini-roast. It looked jolly appetising too.

Despite what I wrote in my last column, I am a big fan of roast lamb and the smell of the olive oil in the barbers was really revving up my taste buds.

The advert had the Little Red Tractor on it and the Quality Standard for English lamb and so I assumed it was an AHDB campaign.

When I got home I looked on their website to find out a bit more.

It said on there the latest campaign aimed to “promote the mini-roast as a perfect date night meal to young couples aged 25-34, enabling them to make quality time for each other during the week.”


This seems rather specific and leaves me wondering what the 25- to 34-year-olds in the AHDB marketing team are really thinking about when they sit in their campaign brainstorming meetings.

This said, the advert and the website looked jolly professional and the recipes looked good. It might even encourage me to eat some lamb at some point in the future.

I have written before that I don’t really see the point of generic adverts for commoditised farm products.

The beef and lamb producers love them, though and, since it’s their money being wasted and not mine, you might think that I should mind my own business and stick to growing flowers and potatoes.

Trimmings twist

Here’s the twist, though. This advert for English lamb in The Sun also included new potatoes, green beans, oranges and spices.

I checked the date at the top of the newspaper. It was definitely November. A time of year when new potatoes come from Egypt and green beans come from Kenya. The recipe didn’t include a single other item which was produced in the UK.

I know that I have written a few challenging things about livestock farmers in the past. This advert made me wonder if the turd hurdlers were getting their own back by intentionally “cocking a snook” at my cold store full of home-grown potatoes and the thousands of acres of green vegetables in Britain in November.

To show there are no hard feelings, I’m having a delicious leg of lamb for Sunday lunch this week. It’s from a place called New Zealand, which I’m guessing is somewhere in the West Country.

See more