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First Event For The New Mutton Season

The new Renaissance Mutton season will kick off with a special open event at Northcote Manor, near Blackburn in Lancashire, on October 3.

Organised by the Mutton Renaissance Club, it will bring together sheep farmers, abattoirs, butchers, chefs and retailers.

The club is a part of the Mutton Renaissance Campaign, which began in 2004, spearheaded by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales after he visited sheep farmers in County Durham who were being paid low prices for their cull ewes.

John Thorley OBE, policy director at the National Sheep Association and chairman of the campaign, said: “This event is for anyone in the supply chain who produces, processes, sells and serves high quality mutton - or who is interested in getting involved in this growth market.

“It will provide the opportunity to learn more about the successful production and marketing of Renaissance Mutton, as well as to make contacts and share experiences with others involved in the supply chain.”

The format of the day has been changed in the light of the foot and mouth disease restrictions and there will be no farm visit, as originally planned. All attendees are also being asked to comply with strict bio security measures.

The English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX) will focus on carcase and butchery demonstrations, looking at how to select the best animals for the market and discuss the specification for Renaissance Mutton (* see Notes to Editors). 

Chef-proprietor of Northcote manor Nigel Haworth, an Academy of Culinary Arts member and a pioneer of local quality foods, will then talk about cooking with mutton before serving a mutton lunch.

After lunch Dudley Carruthers of Udale Speciality Foods, based at Morcombe, will talk about his success in supplying Renaissance Standard mutton to caterers and retailers across the North West of England.

Tickets are £25 and include lunch. To ensure a place please book in advance by phoning Julie Jennings on 01684 892661 or email

The Mutton Renaissance Club is co-ordinated by the National Sheep Association in conjunction with the Academy of Culinary Arts. Existing members of either organisation can join the Club for free while others pay just £45 a year. More details about the club and this event are also available from Julie Jennings.

Demand for mutton is beginning to grow, with around 200 family farms, restaurants, butchers and abattoirs across Britain now rearing, selling and serving mutton.

Mr Thorley said: “Thanks to high profile support from top chefs and restaurants, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits and taste of mutton and so demand is growing.

“There are good opportunities here, especially for farmers with large hill or upland holdings. They could consider selling direct to consumers or link up with processors and wholesale distributors with food service or retail customers.”

The Mutton Renaissance Campaign is co-ordinated by the National Sheep Association and the Academy of Culinary Arts, and supported by EBLEX and Hybu Cig Cymru / Meat Promotion Wales.

More information about the campaign, including recipes and information on suppliers and retailers, can be found on the website

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