What is the Mutton Renaissance?
The Mutton Renaissance is the campaign to restore high quality mutton to the menu whilst helping British sheep farmers to find a market for their older animals.
How did the Mutton Renaissance start?
The campaign is the brainchild of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales who, following Foot and Mouth 2001 wanted to find a way to help sheep farmers in the event of a similar disaster occurring again. The Mutton Renaissance was launched at The Ritz, London in November 2004.
Who runs the Mutton Renaissance?
The campaign is run by the Academy of Culinary Arts and the Pastoral Alliance and is sponsored by EBLEX Ltd and Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales) (HCC).
What is mutton?
Mutton is the meat of a sheep over two years old. Often from unfinished cull ewes and slaughtered in line with religious beliefs most mutton is sold to the ethnic meat market, is lean and inexpensive.
What is Renaissance Mutton?
The mutton promoted by the Mutton Renaissance is high quality mutton from animals that have been carefully selected, finished and processed to achieve optimum flavour and an excellent eating experience. To maintain this high standard a specification has been developed which details what qualifies as Renaissance Mutton and the standards to which it must be produced. The Renaissance Mutton season runs from October to March, when British lamb is out of season.
How does the Mutton Renaissance work?
The campaign is guided by a management committee (The Executive) consisting of representatives from the Academy, the Pastoral Alliance, EBLEX Ltd, HCC and HD Communications; and a steering committee (The Board) consisting of representatives of all parts of the supply chain: farmers, processors, butchers and chefs. The Pastoral Alliance look after the agricultural side and the Academy encourage their chef members to put mutton on the menu whilst we all work hard to bring together all parts of the supply chain. In order to achieve this, the Mutton Renaissance Club was launched in February 2006, of which His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is Patron. The purpose of the club is to promote the campaign and consolidate the supply chain; this is mainly done through the Mutton Renaissance Club Open Events which are held around the country during the season.
What effect has the campaign had on the mutton market so far?
Since the launch in 2004 the campaign has had a small but significant impact on the market. At the end of 2006 and updated at the beginning of 2008 a report by David Croston OBE (formerly CEO of Eblex) showed exactly this: ‘On the basis of the 2006 report the potential retail market was estimated to be in the order of 846 tonnes of which 423 tonnes came from businesses involved with the Mutton Renaissance campaign. The revised estimate from the 2008 survey suggest that involvement appears to have risen by about 21% to 511 tonnes.’ Each week we hear from new farmers producing mutton, restaurants serving it and others who want to support us. The progress is slow but steady and we are confident that the campaign is really making a difference.
For the full specification and further information, visit the Mutton Renaissance website.