Masterchef Presenter Backs Scotch Lamb Campaign

Masterchef presenter Gregg Wallace today (August 5th 2015) urged consumers to make the most of the versatility and simplicity of cooking Scotch Lamb PGI.

Speaking at the launch of Quality Meat Scotland’s campaign to raise the profile of the fantastic taste of locally-produced lamb, Mr Wallace said there was huge scope for many more people to routinely enjoy Scotch Lamb, particularly at this time of year when it is at its most plentiful.

“Lamb had always been my personal favourite and there is real potential for lots more of us to be making the most of this natural, easy-to-cook product which is bursting with flavour and such a great ingredient for a whole range of quick, tasty dishes,” said Mr Wallace.

During a visit north of the border, hosted by QMS, Mr Wallace met farmers, butchers and chefs and learned more about what makes Scotch Lamb one of the finest ingredients in Scotland’s larder.
His trip included a visit to Perthshire sheep farm Montalt near Dunning where Mr Wallace saw first-hand the dedication, care and stockmanship skills behind the production of top quality Scotch Lamb.

John Ritchie and his wife Alix, along with John’s parents George and Karen, run the 750 acre farm which is home to 650 ewes. The family has been steadily increasing the size of their ewe flock in recent years and plan to build the Scotch Mule and Scotch Mule cross Texel ewe flock up to around 750 ewes over the next three years.
The farm extends to 1000 feet above sea level, where the lambs are reared very naturally on a grass-based diet with turnips introduced from November.
“We take a real pride in what we do and we are positive about the future. Our intention is very much to continue to build our flock,” said John Ritchie, the third generation of his family to farm at Montalt.

“We see EID as a real opportunity for the future and we’d like to invest in some new automatic drafting and weighing equipment going forward. Our aim is to keep our costs low by being as efficient as we can to profitably produce top quality lambs which meet processor’s specifications for weight and grade. ”

All of the lambs from Montalt are sold to Bridge of Allan-based Scotbeef and the farm is a member of QMS’s quality assurance scheme. Animal welfare is a key aspect of the quality assurance schemes behind Scotch Lamb and Mr Wallace also heard about QMS’s partnership with the Scottish SPCA and “Welfare and Wellbeing Charter” during his visit.

Mr Wallace’s visit this week is timed with the launch by QMS of a high-impact advertising campaign behind Scotch Lamb PGI, targeting 3.7 million consumers. The 2015 Scotch Lamb PGI campaign – set to reach over 90% of Scottish adults – is building on last year’s very successful campaign which boosted retail sales of lamb in Scotland by 11%.

“This year’s campaign is very much building on last year’s recipe for success. It was not only those who are lamb-eaters who bought more lamb during the campaign period but also new consumers who don’t usually buy lamb even once a year,” said Suzie Carlaw, QMS Marketing Controller.

A key objective of the 2015 campaign is to encourage consumers to understand the versatility, simplicity and speed of cooking with lamb. The two month long campaign will harness a range of marketing activities to drive Scotch Lamb sales.

The marketing push will include billboard, press and radio advertising as well as on-line and in-store activity including 80 days of activity by Scotch “Lambassadors” in Tesco and Asda.
Recipe leaflets and other point of sale materials will also be distributed via the members of the Scotch Butchers Club, run by QMS.

A range of new videos for on-line and social media use, featuring Edinburgh-based chef Daniella Forbes and Glasgow-based chef Justin Maule demonstrating simple, delicious dishes, has also been produced.

This year’s “Love Scotch Lamb Weekend” will be on September 4th and 5th, when a range of activities will take place around the country to celebrate all that is wonderful about Scotch Lamb PGI. Among that weekend’s activities is Dundee Flower and Food Festival where Gregg Wallace will be joining a host of former Masterchef contestants who will delivering cooking demonstrations in the Scotch Lamb Cookery Theatre.

Historically, Scotland has consumed less lamb than other parts of GB. Around 4,000 tonnes of lamb (worth around £34 million) is eaten each year in Scotland with about 44% of the population purchasing lamb at least once in the last year (versus 57.8% in Great Britain).

The target audience for the campaign is very much young professionals and busy working parents and the message is very much that lamb is not just for roasting at the weekend – it can also make a quick, nutritious mid-week meal for all ages to enjoy.

For further information and sizzlingly simple Scotch Lamb recipe ideas visit www.whambamlamb.com or www.scotchbeefandlamb.com or follow “Enjoy Quality Meat” on Facebook and @scotchkitchen on twitter
Main Photo: Masterchef Presenter Gregg Wallace joins Perthshire sheep farmer John Ritchie on his farm Montalt near Dunning to launch QMS’s Scotch Lamb campaign.

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