MPs and parliamentary officials are enjoying a delicious lamb lunch served at the Beehive to celebrate National Lamb Day today, Thursday 24 May.
New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson, a sheep farmer from Lawrence, Otago was behind the push for a celebration of New Zealand lamb at the nation’s parliamentary headquarters.
“I know first-hand the hard work and dedication that is put in by our sheep famers to produce a world-class quality product.
“Given that it’s National Lamb Day, I thought it was only fitting that we ensured those working in parliament could enjoy New Zealand lamb and celebrate something we should all be really proud of” says Patterson.
“National Lamb Day coincides with the anniversary of when the Dunedin – loaded with the first shipment of frozen lamb – arrived into London in 1882, sparking an industry that is worth $5 billion to the New Zealand economy today. It is important we recognise these significant milestones in Kiwi culture.”
Shaun Clouston, a Beef and Lamb Platinum Ambassador, is the executive chef that oversees the catering in parliament. He will be serving up an entrée with ‘Grass Fed Girls’ lamb sourced down the road from a Lower Hutt farm. The meat for the main represents the South Island having been produced by Origin South near Invercargill.
“As a chef I am only as good as the produce I work with – that’s why I love cooking with New Zealand lamb. It’s a consistent, quality product that produces tender meat with brilliant flavours. When I cook at events abroad I am always proud to use New Zealand lamb to show its exceptional eating qualities – New Zealand lamb has always been a star and is at the pinnacle of what New Zealand has to offer.”
Rod Slater, CEO of Beef and Lamb New Zealand Inc and a former butcher, was the driving force behind National Lamb Day.
“National Lamb Day is an opportunity for Kiwis to celebrate an iconic part of New Zealand’s culture and heritage.
“Some of the meat served today in parliament was produced down the road and processed by local Wellington butchers Preston’s Master Butchers – a fifth generation butchery and the oldest in New Zealand. Preston’s Master Butchers are proof that the industry is ingrained in Kiwi culture, it’s our heritage” says Slater.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor will also be attending the event to say a few words after an address from Beef and Lamb New Zealand Ltd Chairman Andrew Morrison.
For more information on National Lamb Day please head to recipes.co.nz.