Press Release: Immediate Release Date: 14 August 2023, 11.30 BST
Grazing on ancient pastures outside Abergavenny in Monmouthshire the sheep graze on organic grass and hay grown on the farm, playing a vital role in the lamb’s outstanding flavour. Black Welsh Lamb has been named among the top food and drink producers globally this year through the Great Taste 2023 accreditation scheme. Its leg of hogget lamb, lamb that matures at its own pace and is over a year old, scooped a 3-star award earlier this month, and it has now been announced that it was one of the highest scoring products. This means Black Welsh Lamb is now in the running to win a Great Taste Golden Fork: the highest accolade in the food and drink world.
14,195 products were put through the competition’s rigorous blind judging process; and Black Welsh Lamb’s organic, pasture-fed hogget leg was dubbed a “a remarkable piece of meat”, full of flavour from those Black Mountain grasses” and ”tender and succulent” at the world’s most coveted food and drink awards based entirely on taste. 4,088 products were awarded a Great Taste 1-star – ‘food and drink that delivers fantastic flavour’, 1,568 were awarded a Great Taste 2-star – ‘above and beyond delicious’, and only 248 were awarded a Great Taste 3-star – ‘extraordinarily tasty food and drink’.
Described as “an enormous pleasure to eat”, this organic hogget lamb leg was a big hit with the Great Taste judges.
The flock of around three hundred pedigree sheep graze on organic pastures that have not been ploughed or re-seeded for generations and as a result are full of a wide variety of different grasses and wild flowers. Nick Miller and Sarah Dickins have been steadily regenerating the land and building up the flock for twenty-five years. Apart from three rams brought in for breeding, all the sheep have been born there, and are part of the land. The wide variety of grasses they graze on result in the incredible flavour that the judges remarked on. Another distinctive factor is that they do not feed their sheep any sheep nuts or “concentrate” and as a result the sheep grow at their own natural speed. Their lamb is also dry aged for two weeks, in the traditional way, which adds to the flavour and texture of the meat. Nick and Sarah have been farming organically for twenty five years, restoring old hedgerows, planting native trees for the sheep to shelter under and caring for hay meadows.
Sarah Dickins from Black Welsh Lamb said “ We are so thrilled to have won a 3 star award for our lamb and being nominated for a Golden Fork is incredible. We are so proud to be adding this black and gold Great Taste badge of honour to our lamb when we send it off, across the UK, to restaurants and private customers”. “Great Taste , from the Guild of Fine Foods, is the most recognised accolade for taste and quality in the food and drink industry, so it’s a huge moment for us .” “ We started with two ewes that I bought Nick for his birthday, we bought another four and from those six have steadily developed our incredible flock. We have also spent a lot of time and energy improving the sustainability of our farm. Not only do we farm organically but for around fifteen years we have been part of environmental schemes to help nature. What is now clear is that those steps have also helped our sheep and the taste of our lamb. Earlier this year we had our soil tested and found it is, not just carbon neutral but carbon positive, a carbon sink”.
“To now be nominated for a Golden Fork, and know that we are one of the highest scoring products means so much to independent producers like us who also prioritise the impact of our behaviour on climate change”.
All will be revealed on Monday 11 September at the Great Taste Golden Forks awards ceremony held at Battersea Arts Centre, London (industry event only).
What is Great Taste? Recognised as a stamp of excellence and actively sought out by food lovers and retailers alike, Great Taste, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, values taste above all else. All products in the line-up for judging are blind tasted: every product is removed from its packaging so it cannot be identified, before entering a robust, layered judging process. Organised by the Guild of Fine Food, this year’s Great Taste awards judging took place over 89 days in Dorset and London, with a panel of more than 500 judges putting the products to the test. The line-up saw food and drink products submitted from an extraordinary 109 different countries across the world. Food & Drink Wales is the headline sponsor of Great Taste 2023. Great Taste Golden Fork trophy sponsors include: Andrew Ingredients, Bord Bia, Food & Drink Wales, Invest NI, Italian Trade Agency, Maltby & Greek, Mevalco, Partridges, Scotland Food and Drink, ShireFoods, and Speciality and Fine Food Fair. Great Taste is supported by Henderson Group, Horgans, and Peter Green Chilled.
Black Welsh Lamb is available to, private customers and restaurants across the UK, throughout the year. It can be ordered fresh, butchered however the customer would like, vacuum packed and delivered ready for the freezer. Individual cuts can also be bought frozen. More information about Black Welsh Lamb can be found here www.blackwelshlamb.com
The full list of this year’s winners and where to buy them can be found at www.greattasteawards.co.uk and a wide range of the award-winning products are available to buy in delis, farm shops and independent retailers across the country.
For more information, imagery or interview opportunities, contact Sarah Dickins or Nick Miller on 07720 039936 or email@example.com Check us out on socials. On Instagram @blackwelshlamb and @BlackWelshLamb on Twitter Editor’s notes: Black Welsh Lamb also produce organic purely grass-fed mutton. Both lamb and mutton can be butchered as customers wish but usually a lamb box contains legs and shoulders for roasting, chops for a quick support and mince for moussaka or a shepherd’s pie. As advocates of celebrating every aspect of the animal, Black Welsh Lamb also include bone for a traditional Welsh Cawl, or soup.
Established in 1994, Great Taste is organised by the Guild of Fine Food and is the world’s largest, longest standing and most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers. Every Great Taste award has a validity of three years, i.e., a Great Taste 2023 award will be valid, and may be displayed on a product, until the results are released for Great Taste 2026. All awards must always be displayed against the exact product for which they have been won. As well as Great Taste, the Guild of Fine Food is known for publishing the industry-leading magazine, Fine Food Digest, and the global phenomenon, that is the World Cheese Awards. Plus, further events including award ceremonies and Great Taste markets, trade shows, training sessions and member initiatives throughout the year. Visit – gff.co.uk