My quest started at Highlands & Islands Enterprise who got me thinking about the intellectual assets of my business. Why I believe Native Shetland Lamb has exceptional qualities and how I manage my business to maintain product quality. Research commissioned by Shetland Islands Council and participation NHS Shetland’s dietary health improvement project got me thinking about Native Shetland Lamb as a healthy option.
Through the Linked-In network I was recommended to attend the Food Health Innovation Service AGM in March 2011. This proved good advice because, at the coffee networking opportunity, before the meeting started, I was introduced to a researcher who was able to suggest how I might answer my two questions: -
- Does Native Shetland Lamb have unique properties to contribute to a healthy diet?
- Can scientific analysis of Native Shetland Lamb Meat explain the eating qualities that my customers seem to value?
So it was that I have started working with The Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health in Aberdeen. My aim is to learn about the latest research on the meat qualities attributable to extensive grazing systems and participate in RINH’s current research. The product of these two initiatives will be used to refine the terms of reference for a project next year whose objective is to relate the scientific analysis of Native Shetland Lamb meat to tasting notes.