Mutton producers and sellers join a new club

A NEW group has been set up for producers and sellers of high quality mutton.

The Mutton Renaissance Club was due to be launched by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, at a dinner at the Ritz, London, last night.

The new Club claims to be the first industry-wide group for the meat with the aim of uniting sheep farmers, abattoirs, butchers, chefs and retailers. As well as sharing information, ideas and expertise, the Club will stage workshops to help producers and processors meet the market's needs.

The Mutton Renaissance campaign was launched in 2004 by HRH the Prince of Wales to support British sheep farmers who were struggling to sell their older animals, and to get mutton back on the nation's plates. As a direct result, support for British mutton is growing, it is claimed, with around 200 family farms, restaurants, butchers and abattoirs now rearing, selling and serving it.

The Prince, who will be the patron of the new Club, said he had been overwhelmed by support for the campaign. "This is the next step of the project to bring together farmers, abattoirs, butchers and chefs."

John Thorley, policy director at the National Sheep Association added: "The new Mutton Renaissance Club is about empowering those within the supply chain to shape this emerging market, to break down the barriers to trade and to work together to uphold the specifi cation for Renaissance Mutton."

The campaign has been coordinated by the NSA and the Academy of Culinary Arts, and supported by the English Beef & Lamb Executive and Hybu Cig Cymru

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