A move by Gwynedd Council schools, residential homes and day centres to serve and support Welsh Lamb from the county’s farms was this week applauded by Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) who has been encouraging public sector organisations to back the sheep industry.
The initiative follows collaboration between Gwynedd Council staff, HCC and local meat providers to deliver lamb from Gwynedd to more than 5,000 pupils and over 300 care home residents and day centres across the county this week.
"We were thrilled with the opportunity to work with Gwynedd Council and it’s wonderful that school pupils and care home residents will enjoy a nutritious meal including Welsh Lamb,” said Prys Morgan, HCC’s Operations Manager. “The Council deserve to be applauded for overcoming difficult obstacles including tight resources.
“HCC has a long running campaign to persuade and enable the public sector to play its part in backing local farmers and we plan to step up our efforts further in the coming twelve months following the success of this work.”
Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Care, Councillor Gareth Roberts, said: “Welsh Lamb is the best in the world, and it’s great to be able to support this vital local industry by providing lamb in our residential homes, day centres and schools. As a Council we serve Welsh Lamb throughout the year, but we are particularly pleased to be able to offer lamb specifically from Gwynedd this week.
“Of course, by working with HCC and using lamb from Gwynedd, we are highlighting our commitment as a Council to supporting the local economy, our rural communities as well as ensuring that we are serving food of a high standard.”
Councillor Mandy Williams-Davies, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, added: “As a Council, we are committed to offering a healthy school lunch to the children of Gwynedd which includes a variety of wonderful local produce. We support local businesses and it’s therefore very pleasing that we are able to highlight this to celebrate national school meals week.”
Prys Morgan added: “Red meat from Wales can play an important part in a healthy and balanced diet as it includes a number of vital beneficial nutrients for children, young adults and the older generation. This includes protein, which is essential for growth and restoring the body; iron for healthy blood; a good source of zinc, which helps to maintain a healthy immune system; and vitamins B and D to create energy and strong bones.
“Welsh Lamb also holds a PGI status, which is Protected Geographical Indication.This confirms that it is possible to trace the origin of the animal and also means that only lambs which have been born and bred in Wales and processed in a PGI approved abattoir are able to be labelled as Welsh Lamb,” he said.