NIFQA beef and lamb on the menu at Open Farm Weekend

Livestock & Meat Commission June 21, 2023

FROM cookery demonstrations that invited consumers to sample Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured (NIFQA) beef and lamb to farm walks and educational games, Open Farm Weekend was certainly packed full of activity, with something for everyone to enjoy.

As longstanding event sponsors, the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) were pleased to provide cookery demonstrations at three NIFQA farms – Craighall Farm, Antrim, Millbank Farm, Killinchy and Mullygarry Farm, Enniskillen.

It was the County Fermanagh farm up first, with LMC demonstrations delivered to pupils from two local schools on Friday, Derrygonnelly Primary School and Willowbridge School. Demonstrations for members of the public followed throughout the weekend, offering insight to the farm to fork journey of NIFQA beef and lamb and inviting consumers to taste a range of freshly cooked dishes.

Commenting on the success of the event LMC education and consumer promotions manager Sarah Toland said, “It was encouraging to see people of all ages actively engaged in LMC cookery demonstrations and eager to learn more about the health and nutritional benefits of red meat. There was also keen interest in the world leading quality standards upheld by local NIFQA beef and lamb farmers.”

The LMC team provided both beef and lamb cookery demonstrations, with a colourful Thai red curry and creamy lamb, bacon, leeks and crème fraiche dish just two of the recipes showcased.

Sarah added, “Open Farm Weekend provides an unrivalled opportunity to invite consumers to take a step closer to the supply chain, meet farmers and get an insight into where the food on their plates comes from.”

The LMC team were out and about across the province over the weekend engaging with the public on farms. “It was positive to engage in discussion on a number of topics,” Sarah remarked. Some of the main talking points were, sustainability, animal health, LMC’s education programme, the beef and sheep trade, quality assurance and consumer sentiment.

Sarah continued, “Having attended a number of farms, one standout takeaway for the LMC team was the real sense of community that exists in our rural areas. Farming families across NI work tirelessly to produce world class beef and lamb to feed the nation. And, as custodians of the countryside they take great pride in managing the landscape that we all enjoy. As we move beyond Open Farm Weekend, I would encourage you to continue think proactively about the origins of the food on your plate. When shopping for beef and lamb, look for the NIFQA logo and in doing so you will support local farmers.”