How Richard got into producing Native Shetland Lamb and why he chose this particular product:
The Native Shetland Sheep is a rare – seasonal – tasty and healthy product, so it was not a difficult choice to make for Richard. Native Shetland Lamb has now been recognised as a PDO product. This specially-protected status means it has unique qualities attributable to being raised in the Shetland Islands, its home for thousands of years.
The challenges that Richards is facing producing Native Shetland Lamb:
The distance to market, the diminutive size of the sheep and maintaining quality are the challenges for marketing Native Shetland Lamb. Lerwick is further from London than Slow Food’s HQ in Bra. With one hundred miles of sea to cross just to get to the Scottish mainland, it is bound to cost more to transport to the customer even in volume. Only the Royal Mail’s universal pricing obligation allows competitive pricing when sending small quantities to UK mainland post codes. Because the price of processing a lamb is charged per head and not per kilo, the meat from smaller sheep has to cost a little more. Therefore, Richard has to persuade customers that the product terroir gives them something special. The sheep and where they live produce the quality and Richard puts in a lot of effort to maintain it between croft and kitchen. Native Shetland Lamb does have the advantage of being protected by EU regulations that mean that the genuine article will be stamped in Lerwick (UK 1756 EC).
Products that Richard is offering
Native Shetland Lamb is a seasonal product, produced in small quantities. It’s usually available from September to December, so the meat you’ll taste comes with all the flavour of recent summer grazing on a wild mixture of grasses, heather, herbs and flowers. With a limited output, it pays to pre-order to ensure you get your share of the season’s produce. Richard sells whole Native Shetland Lamb. This lamb with subtly different characteristics is available freshly butchered, chilled and packed suitable for restaurants and for home freezing. 18-month old hogget and mutton are also available in the same form. In season, you can buy Briggs’ Shetland lamb delivered directly to you.
Richard’s favourite Native Shetland Lamb recipes
Richard’s favourite recipes, some involving our Chef Alliance member Neil Forbes, can be found on his website.
Address: Cuckron, Stromfirth, Weisdale, ZE2 9LH, Shetland