National Lamb Day
February 15th is National Lamb Day and this year marked the 135th anniversary of one of the most significant milestones in New Zealand's sheep meat industry.
On this day in 1882, William Davidson and Thomas Brydone achieved the remarkable feat, launching the first shipment of frozen sheep meat from Port Chalmers in Otago on the Dunedin, bound for London.
The 5,000 sheep carcasses on the Dunedin arrived in London 98 days later in excellent condition, a testament to Kiwi innovation (although this was not without incident with all the challenges of refrigeration in those days). Prior to this, New Zealand mainly sold wool overseas as no one believed it possible to have a thriving meat export business.
The first voyage was an important step in establishing our international trading links from which our sheep and beef industry now contributes $9.6 billion a year to the New Zealand economy. The industry hope Kiwis here and around the world will recognise this historic achievement and celebrate by enjoying lamb on National Lamb Day.
To find out more about celebrating National Lamb Day click here.