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Break from tradition and beef up Christmas dinner

By Toby Neal | Farming | Published:

The countdown to Christmas 2017 is under way and by now you may well have made your decision about what you are eating on the big day.

However, if you are still making your mind up, I would encourage you unashamedly to break from tradition and enjoy a fantastic joint of beef or lamb for your Christmas dinner.

Birds still rule the roost when it comes to festive celebrations, with retail sales data from Kantar Worldpanel showing that turkey was once again a popular choice on the plates of the nation last year. The amount of turkey bought was up six per cent in December 2016, following a drop in sales during the festive period in 2015.

However, despite the dominance of turkey, we generally see a spike in demand for red meat in the run up to the festive season as people switch to alternative meats. I may be biased, but I reckon that although a turkey can look good as a Christmas centrepiece, nothing can quite compare to a rib of beef on the bone carved at the table. Glorious!

A report we published recently showed that independent butchers play a significant role in England’s food and drink retail sector, accounting for one in every nine jobs outside of the supermarkets. One in every 400 firms in England is an independent butcher, many of whom are small businesses who play a key role in their local community.

With so many fantastic butchers and farm shops with butchery counters in our area, even going to buy your meat can be an occasion. Butchers are a mine of information who can provide advice on everything meat-related, from the breed and where the animal was reared through to the choice of cut or cooking method.

So why not do your bit and spoil yourself by enjoying a glorious piece of quality beef or lamb this festive period?

Clive Brown is AHDB Beef and Lamb Head of Regional Development

Toby Neal

By Toby Neal
Feature Writer

A journalist in Shropshire for 40 years, mainly writes features and columns, especially about aspects of the county?s history. Lives in Telford and based at the paper?s Ketley headquarters.

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