Lamb festival a resounding success

Chefs, butchers and catering students have descended on Stoneleigh Park to get the inside track on making lamb more profitable.

A hundred delegates attended EBLEX’s lamb festival, which was held last week in a bid to boost lamb sales. EBLEX created the festival in response to the recent 20% increase in the price of lamb, which has put pressure on margins and forced consumers to switch to cheaper meats.

To encourage retailers and caterers to utilise more of the lamb carcase, EBLEX
demonstrated a range of alternative, cheaper cuts of lamb at the festival. Presentations on supply and demand for lamb and what the market is currently demanding followed.

Retail project manager for EBLEX Mike Whittemore explained: “Lamb is arguably at its best during the barbecue season, so we needed to find ways to maximise its potential at this crucial time.

“There are many shoulder cuts that are perfect for cooking on the barbecue, so we set out to add value and margin to this relatively low cost part of the carcase through the development of new butchery techniques and products. By maximising the potential for the entire carcase, it makes lamb a far more cost-effective proposition.”

Trade marketing executive Laura Bishop unveiled a range of marketing support material themed ‘Simply Lamb, Simply Delicious’, which has been produced to help both independent and multiple retailers and foodservice operators boost lamb sales this summer.

A lamb cooking masterclass by two award-winning chefs – Jenny Jones and Steve Love – followed. Jones cooked a ‘Confit Rosemary Breast of Lamb’, a dish that she said returns good profits

“If we were to sell 30 portions of our breast of lamb dish a week, by the end of the year we would have made enough gross profit to cover one person’s wages,” she said

“That’s incredible and this is such a simple dish to make that it would make sense for butchers to prepare it and sell it ready for the oven.”

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