Welsh lamb showcased in Italy
An award-winning butcher from Wales linked up with one of the most famous names in Italian craft butchery this month, all in the name of raising awareness of PGI Welsh Lamb among Italian food writers.
Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) organised a journalists’ event at the long-established Pellegrini meat emporium in Milan as part of a campaign to ensure Welsh Lamb is talked about in the press the run-up to the Christmas period, when the meat is most widely-available in Italy.
Store owner Giorgio Pellegrini, head of the Butchers’ Association of Milan, was joined by Mark McArdle from Chirk, a specialist in Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef, who has won butchery prizes at the Royal Welsh Show in the past. Together, they showed a group of 30 Italian writers the versatility of Welsh Lamb.
Mark broke down a full lamb carcase in to a wide range of cuts for all types of cooking, and the journalists were also treated to samples of various Welsh Lamb dishes.
Mark McArdle said: “It was a great experience for me to go to Milan and promote Welsh Lamb. It was really good to work alongside Giorgio and the hospitality we received was excellent.
“There was a real interest from the Italian journalists and butchers we met and they had a real appreciation for the quality of Welsh Lamb. There was great interest in the butchery of the carcass with everyone keen to see the techniques we use in the UK. The Italian butchers were also keen to demonstrate to me their own skills and techniques!
“There is no doubt that the journalists considered Welsh Lamb to be a high-quality product and I look forward to them conveying that message to Italian consumers.”
HCC export development officer Kate Patten said: “Despite the uncertainty of Brexit we’re still seeing good demand in Italy, which is a very important market for us, consuming over £8 million worth of Welsh Lamb last year.
“The shop was full of journalists from both trade and consumer press as well as online influencers. Positive coverage is already appearing in the Italian press. We were very pleased with how the event went, and are very grateful to Giorgio Pellegrini for taking part.”