Wales celebrates top lamb producer

Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) is to honour Daphne Tilley on receiving an MBE for her contribution to the food industry, in particular Welsh Lamb. 

‘Daphne’s Original Welsh Lamb’, based in Denbighshire, began on the family farm, producing lambs for a retailer. While visiting a friend in London, Tilley decided to take a chance and approach some restaurants in person.

“It just came to me,” she said. “I thought – why not sell direct? You’ve got to be brave, so I took 10 half-lambs on ice in polystyrene boxes in the Land Rover. Straight away I had eight restaurants that were prepared to take my lamb.

“They loved it; I kept taking it to them and it has grown from that. It has been word of mouth about the quality of the lamb, as much as knocking on doors.”

Tilley now supplies PGI Welsh Lamb to well-known chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Anthony Demetre, Richard Corrigan, Adam Hilliard, James Adams, Stephen Smith and Francesco Mazzei.

“In those early days, one of the restaurants that was very helpful was Jamie Oliver’s,” she added. “He had just done the Naked Chef stuff; he was such a nice man, he really helped me.”

The evening, taking place at Fortnum & Mason in London this evening (Thursday 9 June 2016), will also see some of the city’s top chefs and restaurateurs gather to celebrate the role that PGI Welsh Lamb is playing on the capital’s eateries.

“HCC is delighted to support the industry-wide event, held at such a prestigious location, and to recognise the work Daphne Tilley and her customers have done to promote PGI Welsh Lamb,” commented Sue Franklin, HCC’s UK market development executive.

“Our warmest congratulations go out to Daphne; she is passionate about farming and about her high-quality product and has been a brilliant ambassador for the whole industry.”

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