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Caithness News Bulletins October 2005
Mey Selections Beef And Lamb Launched At Sainsbury’s
Today beef and lamb from the area surrounding the late Queen Mother’s Caithness Residence, The Castle of Mey, goes on sale in Sainsbury’s supermarket. The Mey Selections label is backed by The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay and the packaging features his watercolour painting of the Castle.
Mey Selections’ beef and lamb is sourced from the the Highlands in the most northerly part of Britain’s mainland, north of Inverness and extending al the way to John O’Groats in Caithness. Mey Selections is part of the North Highlands Initiative (NHI) a scheme founded by The Prince. HRH, who has long been a champion of small farmers founded the NHI to benefit farmers, crofters, tourism and local businesses in the North Highlands. The initiative aims to raise the profile of the area and help improve farmers’ income.
Sainsbury's was selected as the first supplier of Mey Selections by the NHI because of the supermarket’s commitment to supporting small suppliers and paying premium price to farmers.
Justin King, Sainsbury’s Chief Executive comments “We are proud to be the first multiple for Mey Selections. This initiative fits extremely well with the corporate beliefs of Sainsbury’s. We are committed to supporting British farmers wherever possible and paying a premium price for goods of this quality.
The lamb and beef in the range is of an extremely high quality and benefits from the traditional farming methods employed. We are very pleased to be able to offer these products to our customers. “
Following a publication of a report which detailed the challenges facing family farming in the North Highlands, The Prince led a group of business leaders on a visit to the area. Since that visit 15 months ago, work has been going on behind the scenes headed by Lord Maclennan of Rogart, culminating in the launch of the initiative in August this year.
Danny Miller, a local farmer and chairman of North Highland Products said, "Farmers up here are very positive about Mey Selections and it’s seen as a chance for them to connect directly with customers. The Prince's involvement has been wonderful because he has given us the confidence and cohesiveness to take forward ideas a lot of us have been thinking about for some time.
We’re thrilled that our efforts are showing some rewards and that Sainsbury has offered to stock our beef and lamb. We hope that other Mey Selections products will follow into the supermarket in the future.''
Mey Selections meat benefits from traditional farming methods. North Highland farms and crofts are small and worked by the family in harmony with the land. Most farmers in the region have a farming lineage stretching back many generations.
Beef cattle from Mey Selections are predominately grass-fed, suckler-herd resulting in excellent succulence and flavour. Most farmers have daily contact with their cattle ensuring high welfare standards. Beef will be available as Rump, Sirloin, Fillets, TTS, Top Rump, Brisket and Ribeye.
Sheep raised in the area generally benefit from extensive stocking rates: one ewe grazing over several acres in many instances. Mey Selections lambs are under 12 months old resulting in a delicate, sweet flavour and mouth-watering succulence. Lamb will be available as Legs, Shoulders, Loin and Neck Fillets.
Product will be sold in selected stores in the serve-over meat counter.