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Lamb meat from the Catalan mountains, top quality

Shepherds from the mountainous Catalan county of Ripollès in Northern Catalonia have created a new brand to mark the quality of their lamb meat, which comes from lamb that has pastured in the mountain fields.

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31 July 2010 12:18 AM

by

Emma Vila / CNA

Barcelona (Gastroteca.cat).- The new top quality meat brand consists of an association of a dozen members claiming for the quality of their lamb. This is one of the first initiatives to come out of the recently constituted Associació de Pastors del Ripollès (Shepherds\u2019 Association of Ripollès) which was born in order to claim distinctive characteristics of their sheep and goat meats.


The Shepherds\u2019 Association of Ripollès hopes to receive an authorisation of the distinctive quality of their lamb and goats in a period of two months. Then \u201Cwe can be known by both restaurants and consumers\u201D, said Miquel Casas, one of the association\u2019s members. They also want to organise a gathering \u201Cwhere everyone can see how the livestock are raised here\u201D. Moreover, people \u201Cwill be able to taste the meat\u201D, he explained. The aim is for people to \u201Cget to know the product\u201D and learn that it is valued \u201Cbecause it comes from this land\u201D where the animals \u201Care raised in fields of meadow grass\u201D. With the certificate of quality they have asked for, they will be required to pasture the animals in the open air and to suckle them from their birth until they are sent to the slaughterhouse. The Shepherds\u2019 Association of Ripollès hopes to receive an authorisation of the distinctive quality of their lamb and goats in a period of two months. Then \u201Cwe can be known by both restaurants and consumers\u201D, said Miquel Casas, one of the association\u2019s members. They also want to organise a gathering \u201Cwhere everyone can see how the livestock are raised here\u201D. Moreover, people \u201Cwill be able to taste the meat\u201D, he explained. The aim is for people to \u201Cget to know the product\u201D and learn that it is valued \u201Cbecause it comes from this land\u201D where the animals \u201Care raised in fields of meadow grass\u201D. With the certificate of quality they have asked for, they will be required to pasture the animals in the open air and to suckle them from their birth until they are sent to the slaughterhouse.

According to Casas, who says that the shepherds' job is losing its importance, \u201Cthe fact that the association is constituted of a dozen of very young members gives the sector a new point of view and makes us want to fight in order to move forward\u201D. \u201CBoth the sheep and goat herding sectors are moving backwards in Catalonia, especially in our area\u201D, he assured. The group of shepherds also hopes that price will not be an obstacle when it comes to selling their product. Casas stressed that \u201Cthe meat is tasty and it has much more quality than the meat from cattle kept indoors\u201D. Usually, lamb meat has a strong taste but, according to the shepherd, \u201Cthat does not happen with our lamb, as they are pastured the whole day\u201D. Moreover, he says that \u201D the meat is not as greasy\u201D. Even though they do not predict an outstanding future in the sector, they underline that they must reduce intermediaries and promote quality local products among consumers.

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  • Photo of Lamb meat from the Catalan mountains, top quality

  • Photo of Lamb meat from the Catalan mountains, top quality