Although I have yet to be told by HCC or the Press Office – I thought you’d be interested in this Press Release from HRH The Prince Of Wales
The Prince of Wales helped launched an initiative to promote Welsh lamb at Clarence House today. His Royal Highness is a keen supporter of British farming and the new London Welsh Lamb Club will promote Welsh lamb as a premium brand, and encourage increased demand from consumers in London and the South East which in turn will improve market prices for farmers in Wales.
Restaurateurs who join the London Welsh Lamb Club are given a certificate to display in their eateries which confirms the meat being served has been verified as Welsh lamb.
The organisation was established by the Welsh red meat promotion agency Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) to capitalise on the growing interest in the produce and it already has 50 members with more waiting to be accredited.
Part of this success has been attributed to Welsh Lamb having been granted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status from the European Commission. Other UK foodstuffs that enjoy PGI status include Melton Mowbray Pork Pies, Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb, and Welsh Beef.
Those already signed up include a number of gastropubs and high-end restaurants like Odette’s in Primrose Hill, run by Welsh chef Bryn Williams, and Irish chef Richard Corrigan’s restaurant in Mayfair.
In a speech The Prince, who keeps Lleyn sheep at his Highgrove Estate in Gloucestershire, told his guests: “Bearing in mind the sheep’s unerring desire to commit suicide, it really is a miracle anything ever arrives on anyone’s plate. I spend my life trying to extract sheep stuck in fences or upside down somewhere or other, or marooned on rock ledges or at the bottom of cliffs as the tide comes in.
“Or the ones that very, very slowly cross the road in front of your car or those held fast in a bramble bush.
“In fact I dare say almost at this moment my eldest son may be rescuing one stuck half way up a mountain in between other damsels in distress.”
Welsh Lamb was granted Protected Geographical Indication status from the European Commission in 2004 helping to preserve its uniqueness.
The Prince has been a long time supporter of Welsh lamb and guests were served a lamb stew, made with carrots, cabbage and swedes, made with meat from mid-Wales farms who are members of his Cambrian Mountain Initiative – which promotes rural enterprise.
Other popular producers from Wales include Elwy Valley near Denbigh in the North of the country.
The HCC hopes to widen the club to cover the rest of the country and believes their project will see more people eating varieties of the meat like saltmarsh lamb, from areas like the Gower coast near Swansea, or the more widely known hill lamb.
Martin Lam, proprietor of Ransomes Dock Restaurant, in Battersea said: “Welsh lamb has always had a good reputation but what the good farms in Wales have done is bring it back into the market as a regional speciality.
“People might not ask for it but they recognise it when they see it on the menu.”