Farmers and crofters are being urged to donate sheep towards a campaign to get lamb in schools across Scotland for St Andrew’s Day.
The Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland (IAAS) is urging sheep producers to “bank a lamb” at their local auction mart as part of its Lamb Bank initiative.
Schools were given 1.2 tonnes of lamb last year as part of the campaign, and more than 175 schools – representing 24,942 school pupils – have signed up to take part in the scheme this year.
Participating schools will receive lamb, alongside recipes from red meat levy body Quality Meat Scotland.
IAAS executive director, Neil Wilson, urged farmers to get involved by donating the funds from the sale of one or more lambs, or other sheep, via an IAAS mart into the lamb bank.
“As we see schools reducing meat on their menus and the sustainability credentials of red meat being debated in the classrooms and beyond, IAAS is committed to engaging as many school children as possible with the positive story [of lamb production],” said Mr Wilson.
“Our ambition is to get lamb into at least one school in every town and in every rural school in Scotland. We’re calling on sheep farmers across Scotland to join us by donating to the Lamb Bank so that we can see over 2.5 tonnes of lamb in schools this November.”
He said one lamb donated to the bank will give approximately 180 children the chance to cook and taste lamb, which based on a £100 cost to the farmer to yield the lamb, equates to 55p per child.
National Sheep Association Scotland chairman, Jen Craig, backed the initiative and said the industry needed to work to maintain interest in, and demand for, lamb.
She added: “This is a golden opportunity to engage the imagination of the next generation of consumers in a creative, fun and tangible way, and encourage positive conversation with their wider group of family and friends.”