The Royal Welsh Show 2012 gave St Merryn Foods’ beef and lamb farmers the ideal backdrop to compete for prizes and prestige, as sirloin steaks and racks of lamb from their best animals were then tasted by a panel of judges.
With the support of retail partner Tesco, and building on the success of last year’s sirloin steak competition, racks of lamb were added as a new element so that excellence in sheep farming could share the spotlight.
The top 10 sirloins and lamb racks were cooked to perfection by chefs from Welsh red meat promotion body Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC), who supported the competition through the use of their excellent facilities and the expertise of their staff.
The ravenous judges from St Merryn Foods, Tesco, and HCC keenly set about their task of seeking out the sirloins and lamb racks with the best combination of tenderness, taste and succulence.
The awards ceremony later in the day saw all the finalists, together with red meat industry leaders, gather at the Tesco stand.
Alun Davies (AM), the Welsh Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and European Programmes, addressed the crowd and made the presentations.
The first prize winner for sirloin received a cheque for £1,000 and a cut glass bowl.
The rack of lamb winner received a similar bowl and a cheque for £500.
All the prize money had been generously donated by Tesco, further demonstrating their commitment to quality beef and lamb.
VION Red Meat Livestock Director, John Dracup hosted the awards ceremony and praised the producers for the quality of their products.
His words of praise were echoed by Dai Davies the Chairman of HCC, and Mark Grant, the lead Tesco buyer for Wales and the West Midlands.
St Merryn Foods and the supply chains in which it works are keen to promote and support such competitions, as they give a unique opportunity to demonstrate to beef and lamb farmers the importance of products that have the best meat eating qualities, which are so highly valued by consumers.