It’s 133 years since the first shipment of frozen lamb left Port Chalmers, bound for the UK.
That was the foundation of an industry which still contributes multi millions of dollars to our economy and today has been proclaimed National Lamb Day in celebration of that:
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy is welcoming Sunday February 15 as ‘National Lamb Day’, a new initiative from Beef + Lamb New Zealand.
“Lamb is a Kiwi favourite so it is a great initiative to recognise this with a set day,” says Mr Guy.
“February 15 is an appropriate day given it was exactly 133 years ago that the first frozen shipment of sheep meat left Port Chalmers for London. This marked the dawn of one of New Zealand’s most important export industries.
“Lamb exports are now worth around $2.5 billion with the biggest markets being the UK, China and the USA.
“Sheep farmers have adapted to change over the years and made major improvements in productivity. It’s remarkable that we now produce the same amount of lamb meat today as we did in the early 1980s but with half the number of sheep.
“I believe in celebrating our farming heritage and recognising its contribution to our economy and way of life. A National Lamb Day is a great way to acknowledge our history and promote red meat.”
Beef + Lamb NZ has a myriad of delicious ways to cook lamb.
My favourite is French rack, salted and slow cooked over wood on the parilla. What’s yours?