Gwynedd Council schools, residential homes and day centres will serve lamb from the county’s farms this week as a part of their campaign to support Welsh Lamb.
Whilst Gwynedd Council procures local produce throughout the year, its staff has been working with Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) and local meat providers to ensure that lamb from Gwynedd will be served to more than 5,000 pupils and over 300 care home residents and day centres across the county.
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 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 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.
“Roast meat and the traditional Sunday lunch is very popular amongst out residents in our homes and day centres, and I’m sure that the residents will enjoy this special meal during the week.”
Councillor Mandy Williams-Davies, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for Eonomy, 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 to provide produce, and it’s therefore very pleasing that we are able to highlight this by offering Gwynedd lamb on the menu for the county’s pupils and to celebrate national school meals week. I’m sure the children will enjoy.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to promote local produce, and we hope that it will be a way to encourage more residents to support Gwynedd producers.
“There is a lot of talk these days about the traceability of produce. It is therefore very important that we, as a Council, ensure that the produce we serve school pupils and care home residents is of the highest standard. We are proud that this campaign ensures that lamb from Gwynedd farms will be served.”
Prys Morgan, Meat Promotion Wales Head of Operations noted: “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.
“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 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.
“It’s very positive that Gwynedd Council has decided to serve Welsh Lamb to important sections of people within the community that deserve respect and the best in life. We hope other local authorities will now do the same.”
Dafydd Jarrett , of the Meirionnydd branch of NFU Cymru, said: “‘Charity begins at home’ is a very relevant old saying. NFU Cymru congratulates Gwynedd Council for this initiative which not only bring benefit to the county’s residents but also to its sheep farmers and the local economy. Why should not both the young and older population of Gwynedd benefit on the best lamb meat in the world right here on their doorstep. It fits in well with NFU Cymru’s own campaign – back Welsh Farming. Well done to all involved.”
Gwynedd Watkin, FUW’s County Operational Officer, said: “We are very pleased of the fact that Gwynedd Council is promoting local produce in this way. I would like to congratulate the authority for its effort over the years to support local farmers and to ensure that local food is available through its services.”