Rally call to donate a lamb at the mart for school children to cook and eat for Lamb for St Andrew’s Day

13 Oct 2022

As Scotland’s patron saint day approaches, the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland (IAAS) and Scotland’s auction marts are once again launching their successful annual appeal to donate a lamb.

As part of Lamb for St Andrew’s Day, an initiative instigated by livestock auctioneer George Purves to encourage people to celebrate St Andrew’s Day with lamb, the donations made by farmers and industry organisations to the ‘Lamb Bank’ will be delivered to schools across Scotland to feature in home economics classes and canteens in the last week in November.

Since the Lamb Bank started three years ago, 62,000 school children have cooked or eaten lamb, many for the first time.

Neil Wilson, Executive Director of IAAS, said:

“We’ve had huge support from the industry for this and look forward to seeing it again this year. It makes all the difference being able to get Scotch lamb into schools for children to experience cooking and eating it first-hand and bringing that enthusiasm home.

“It’s a mammoth task coordinating all the donations, butchery and delivery to all the different schools but we are carried along on the wave of enthusiasm and hard graft from the industry which is always overwhelming to see in action, compounded by the extraordinary appreciation from teachers in schools. So, we’re calling on Scotland’s sheep farmers to please sell your lambs at the mart this Autumn and donate one or more to get more people across Scotland eating lamb this St Andrew’s Day.”

Lamb donations can be made when selling at the mart or other organisations and individuals can make a financial donation to cover the cost of a lamb that will be coordinated by the mart, or IAAS, and added to the Lamb Bank.

Home Economics teacher at Dumfries Academy, Mrs Isla Porteous, who has received lamb for her school in previous years, said:

“Budgetary constraints mean that lamb is not generally on the school menu or in the Home Economics kitchens, so being able to offer our pupils the chance to experiment with and taste a different meat is brilliant and makes such a difference to us. At the core of what we do is inspiring young people to try new foods and be conscious of healthy eating choices. Cooking with lamb creates a perfect opportunity to talk about the farm to food story, nutrition and to encourage them to be adventurous with new tastes and dishes.”

As well as bringing Lamb for St Andrews Day into schools, the aim of the initiative is for consumers across Scotland to be inspired to choose lamb when organising their own St Andrew’s events, eating at home and dining out in the same way that haggis is associated with Burns Night and turkey at Christmas.

Mr Purves, Managing Director at United Auctions, said:

“We’d love to see lamb being served up in every community in Scotland this St Andrew’s Day – whether it’s Scouts, the WI, sports club dinners, a street party, at home or at the local pub. Indeed, whatever event you are celebrating in November, make it lamb. We’re encouraging pubs and restauranteurs to put it on their menus, potentially adding wine or whisky pairings, butchers to promote cooking with different cuts and retailers to bring it to the front of shelves. We’re also challenging the Young Auctioneers and Young Farmers to see how many pledges they can get from businesses and groups in their local area to serve lamb this St Andrew’s Day. It’s a fantastic initiative that grows every year – be part of it.”

The agricultural charity, RSABI, is serving lamb at its fundraising dinner in early December and NSA Scotland ais hosting a dinner to celebrate St Andrews Day with Scotch Lamb as the centrepiece for the meal.

IAAS will be supporting the industry to encourage St Andrews Day with lamb events in their local area with posters, social media assets and how to get involved as well as coordinating the Lamb Bank and distribution to schools. QMS has also produced two quick, easy and cost-effective recipes which can be made to feed a crowd in schools, the community or at home.

To make a donation, speak to your auctioneer at the next sale. Financial donations can be made through IAAS or the mart.

Lamb for St Andrew’s Day is also supported by the National Farmers Union Scotland and National Sheep Association Scotland, Quality Meat Scotland, Scotch Butchers Club and Scottish Craft Butchers.