The Romanian Ministry of Agriculture will launch this Thursday, October 26, a new campaign aimed at boosting sheep meat consumption in Romania.
The campaign, called Choose the Sheep! (Alege Oaia!), aims to help sheep breeders in Romania promote the consumption of this meat in Romania.
Through this campaign, the authorities want to better exploit the agri-food products from sheep, as well as “increase the export value through processed products, attract workforce in the meat processing sector and sheep meat products, and preserve the traditions of food made from this meat, especially in the mountain areas,” reads the press release from the Agriculture Ministry.
The Choose the Sheep! information and promotion campaign will be carried out nationwide for three months. It will be launched on Thursday at Indagra 2017, the largest agricultural fair in the country, which takes place at Romexpo in Bucharest. The shepherds will bring several sheep breeds to the fair, to present them to the visitors, and will cook local dishes made of sheep meat.
The campaign also has a dedicated Facebook page, but it will also be promoted within a caravan that will stop in Obor Square on November 4-5 and at the Romanian Tourism Fair on November 18-19.
Romania’s agriculture minister Petre Daea is a big fan of sheep, his statements about these animals being quite amusing sometimes. For example, in late-May, the minister said that a sheep could be successfully used for Romania’s country branding because “sheep are living statues.”
“Just look in any corner of the country, how beautiful this animal is grazing Romania’s green pastures. Everybody has leaves, but not sheep like in Romania. Near a sheep you can find a leaf, but near a leaf you can’t find a sheep,” Daea said at that time. The minister referred to leaves because Romania’s tourism branding logo is currently represented by a leaf.
The minister made another such statement in late-September. After attending a local event, Petre Daea wrote on his Facebook page: “The annual event in Costesti, in Hunedoara county, organized by Dacia Shepherd County Association is a result of skill and tradition and, I can say, an impressive event. Many farmers, many sheep and a lot of interest for this animal that crosses our history like a red thread.”
The consumption of sheep meet stood at 2.6 kg per capita in 2016, on average, slightly up from 2.3 kg per capita in 2015 and significantly higher than the 0.7 kg per capita in 2014, according to data from the Agriculture Ministry cited by local Digi24. Romanians usually eat lamb meat around Easter, as it is an important local tradition. However, mutton is not that popular in Romania and sheep growers usually export their sheep to Middle East countries.
Irina Marica, [email protected]