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NSA Scottish Region celebrates Lamb for St Andrew’s day, at home and abroad

1st December 2023

There was an air of celebration among NSA Scottish Region members last night (Thursday 30th November), with many years of effort to drive ‘Lamb for St Andrew’s Day’ culminating in a traditional dinner in Lauder, Scottish Borders, at the same time as an international event in Dubai opened the door to Scottish Lamb sales in the Middle East.

Around 70 sheep farmers sat down to a delicious meal of Scotch Lamb at Carfraemill, Lauder, just hours after a constructive NSA Scottish Region committee meeting that included presentations from Awal Fuseini of AHDB and Sarah Millar of QMS. The updates from the two levy bodies gave a huge boost to St Andrew’s Day, sharing the culmination of months of hard work to get the first Scottish abattoir processing lamb to halal certified standards, and Scottish Minister Humza Yousaf sitting down for a Lamb for St Andrew’s Day dinner with international guests in Dubai.

From a traditional dinner in Lauder to a diplomatic meal nearly 5,000 miles away in the United Arab Emirates, NSA Scottish Region members could not be more pleased about the boost St Andrew’s Day now gives to Scotch Lamb sales – or the exciting opportunities for Scotch Lamb export sales now stunned halal is available. NSA Scottish Region members attending the meeting and following dinner commented that they hoped other processors would follow Woodhead Brothers, Aberdeenshire, in offering halal lamb products.

Peter Myles, NSA Scottish Region Chair, said: “If the guests at the St Andrew’s Day meal in Dubai enjoyed their Scotch Lamb as much as we all did at Lauder, I have no doubt they’ll be regular customers going forward. Consumers of lamb from Muslim communities are growing in number and spending power, so we must cater for their requirements. The more doors we can open for Scotch Lamb, both domestically and internationally, the better for all Scottish sheep farmers.

“NSA Scottish Region, QMS, butchers, auctioneers and many others in the Scottish sheep sector have all worked so hard to promote the Lamb for St Andrew’s Day concept, from high level gala dinners to children getting Scotch Lamb for their school dinner, and it is hugely gratifying to see it now making a real difference. We must and will keep up our efforts, and have much to feel proud about.”

Highlights of the NSA Scottish Region dinner included speeches from auctioneer George Purves, who was the founder of Lamb for St Andrew’s Day, and also Alec Telfer, past president of the Blackface Sheep Breeders’ Association. Both kept their audience rapt ahead of a well-supported raffle and auction.

In addition to organising the dinner for its own members, NSA Scottish Region also donated 10.5kg mince and 4kg leg steaks for pupils at Mearns Academy, Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire, to enjoy Scotch Lamb on St Andrew’s Day.