National Lamb Day gains support across the country 

// Industry

National Lamb Day was celebrated across the country on 15 February 2024, marked with a series of events and activities that showcased New Zealand’s rich agricultural heritage and celebrated farmers’ hard work.

three people eating lamb outside parliament

The day commemorates the first shipment of frozen sheepmeat aboard the Dunedin ship to the United Kingdom in 1882, a historic event that laid the foundation for New Zealand’s successful meat industry. 

Farmer organisation AgProud and Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Inc led the planning of activities with support from B+LNZ Ltd.  

A huge shoutout to AgProud for leading activities that helped cement the day in New Zealand’s annual calendars. The energy brought from the farmer organisation was a key driver for the day’s success, including high engagement on AgProud’s social media. 

With it being a tough time for farmers, it was great to see people take the time to celebrate. The day provided a fantastic opportunity for the industry to share its innovative story with the wider New Zealand public.  

Parliament got behind the day 

The festivities kicked off with a parliamentary lamb BBQ hosted by Minister Todd McClay. 

Over 40 Members of Parliament and Ministers, many wearing their National Lamb Day t-shirts, gathered to honour the red meat sector's success and acknowledge the significant contributions it makes to New Zealand's economy.  

B+LNZ’s farmer Directors attended along with the Meat Industry Association’s Board and B+LNZ Inc's CEO. The informal setting provided opportunities for meaningful discussions around the sector’s challenges. 

Southern Field Days amplifying celebrations 

The Southern Field Days, coinciding with National Lamb Day, helped amplify celebrations.  

AgProud organised a free lamb BBQ, drawing a crowd of attendees to enjoy some New Zealand lamb. 

B+LNZ's CEO Sam McIvor, along with industry leaders and personalities like Matt Chisholm, manned the BBQ, which allowed for some fantastic conversations about the industry.  

The official National Lamb Day t-shirts by AgProud could be spotted around the showgrounds, including at B+LNZ’s joint site with B+LNZ Inc. The B+LNZ site had a Technogym Ride competition with participation of Olympian Eddie Dawkins as part of our partnership with the NZ Olympics team

The Rock FM broadcasted their drivetime show live from the showgrounds, which included interviews with Eddie Dawkins, B+LNZ Inc CEO Kit, and AgProud’s Jon Pemberton. 

Social media and media buzz 

National Lamb Day generated widespread media attention, spanning mainstream and rural channels, including radio, TV, online articles, newspapers, and social media platforms. While the overall economic impact is yet to be calculated, the value is expected to exceed $100,000. 

One of the highlights was Seven Sharp featuring National Lamb Day, with hosts Jeremy and Hillary raising a chop in recognition of the event. 

A big thank you to everyone who participated and shared information or their lamb dishes on social media.  

The hashtag #nationallambday gained traction, with content shared across platforms in the form of stories, reels, and posts. B+LNZ Inc's Facebook page reached an impressive 109,000 people, with over 45,000 engagements. Meanwhile, the Instagram Stories achieved a combined reach of 5,810, demonstrating the widespread interest and engagement throughout the day. 

Learn more about National Lamb Day here

image of two people with national lamb day sign
image of national lamb day goers
image of two people sampling lamb