Saai’s popular Lamb Champs competition was held at Loftus on Saturday 29th July. It was once again a huge success and gave sheep farmers from all over the country exposure to the consumers. More than 5 000 people came to taste some of the 100 lambs on spits to determine which farmer has the best tasting lamb in South Africa.
This year Paul van Rooyen from the Free State with his Meatmaster lamb walked away with the laurels as the lamb king for 2023. Van Rooyen won R50 000 in prize money and a trophy by the sculptor Nic van Rensburg worth R80 000. Basie van Wyk of Limpopo is runner-up and Leon Struwig, who represented S2 Boerdery, in third place. Van Wyk and Struwig’s lambs were Dormer and SAVM respectively.
Lamb Champs was launched in 2022 as part of the family farmer network, Saai’s effort to shorten the agricultural value chain and give consumers more direct exposure to producers.
“We want to be able to say to the consumer, who braais a lamb chop on a Saturday afternoon: ‘Meet farmer A and farmer B. These are the people who breed sheep with so much care and knowledge so that you can have the best lamb on your coal,’” says Francois Rossouw, CEO of Saai.
Lamb Champs is also a marketing event especially between farmers and butchers, hotels, households and restaurants. “We are excited about the new opportunities that will arise for these farmers from this year’s Lamb Champs,” concludes Rossouw.