Largest ever Welsh Lamb tasting programme

Largest ever Welsh Lamb tasting programme

One of the biggest ever Welsh Lamb controlled taste testing programmes has already logged nearly 500 consumers in three sessions in two months – and their initial popular verdict confirms Welsh Lamb’s place at the global top taste table.

A group of consumers at Cardiff City Stadium after tasting 7 cuts of Welsh Lamb.

In total, nearly 2,000 consumers will take part in the Welsh Lamb Meat Quality programme, part of the five-year, Welsh Government and EU funded Red Meat Development Programme (RMDP) hosted by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) to help Welsh farming prepare for a post-Brexit world. The new consumer programme will look to assess, develop and enhance the meat eating quality of Welsh Lamb and help secure its enviable international reputation.

The comprehensive taster’s network will help HCC to set up the process for a thorough baseline assessment of the current supply chain practices, check for meat quality variation and then build an eating quality assurance programme. This will seek to drive consistency by identifying and influencing key practices throughout the sheep meat production and processing pathways.

“World leading meat scientists based at the Agri-Food Biosciences Institute, will now start analysing the scientific responses to the consumer’s individual opinions.”

The Welsh Lamb Meat Quality Programme is funded as part of the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

“This project is about ensuring Welsh Lamb’s global reputation for excellence is not only maintained but enhanced across the supply chain,” said HCC Meat quality executive Dr. Eleri Thomas, who leads HCC’s in-house taste programme team. “World leading meat scientists based at the Agri-Food Biosciences Institute, will now start analysing the scientific responses to the consumer’s individual opinions.

“Each volunteer also attends a presentation that will tell them of Welsh Lamb’s nutritional values and sustainable production and receives free advice on how to cook it and recipes that make for quick suppers or leisurely lunches,” said Dr. Thomas.

Consumer reactions

During discussions post-tasting many enthused over the seven samples on offer. “My favourites were real flavour pacemakers – tasty, juicy and tender,” said Steve Davies, part of the Cowbridge Runners team group who attended the main Welsh event at Cardiff City Stadium.

Cardiff teaching assistant, Sue Frost, learned a lot from the session. She said: “I thought the lamb I tasted today was exceptionally tender and very juicy; some of them had a noticeable, fantastic aroma. I really enjoyed it.”

“Delicious! All seven pieces!” said an enthusiastic Janet Spearway at the third consumer session, held at Harper Adams University near Newport, Shropshire,  while the snap view of keen amateur photographer Jilly Broadbent was: “The first piece was amazing! The flavour was good, the aroma was good…juicy and tender;” Jilly, who attended with a group from the local Newport Photographic Society, confirmed: “I enjoyed it very much.”

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