“My tastebuds were sizzling!”- just one top reaction to the great flavour of Welsh Lamb from visitors to Royal Welsh Winter Fair at Builth Wells.

The sampling volunteers were taking part in a promotional tasting session for a new, 2,000-strong Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) led consumer research initiative; the Welsh Lamb Meat Quality Project.

“I don’t think you can beat it”; “I really rate it” and “Very tender, lovely texture- and it’s good to know its sustainable and natural” were a few of the flood of favourable comments from the audience volunteers who made their way to the HCC stand to sample PGI Welsh Lamb and chat about their Welsh red meat favourites to the Project’s meat quality executive, Dr Eleri Thomas.

The plan will look to assess, develop and enhance the meat-eating quality of Welsh Lamb and secure its enviable international reputation to help Welsh farming prepare for a post-Brexit world. It will engage with all aspects of the supply chain, aiming to boost farm productivity while ensuring that future red meat production meets the demand of an ever-changing and increasingly discerning consumer, both at home and abroad.

It is supported by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

Sharon Simpson from Newtown gave her lamb steak the highest rating and said: “The taste is the best, I really don’t think you can beat it. I buy it for meals both in the week and for Sunday roast as well,” while Sandra Evans from Aberystwyth said she loved the taste and it was “Very tender and juicy – I really rate it.”

Huw Potter from Cardiff added: “It’s very tender and has a lovely texture; it’s very juicy, nice and moist and not at all overbearing. It’s good to know it’s sustainable and natural.”

While Rhian Dillon from Brecon said: “It was beautiful! Extremely tender – as soon as I bit into it my tastebuds were sizzling! It has a very moist flavour, not fatty, very tasty - a healthy and luxurious product all rolled into one!”

Following the tastings, the volunteers at the Winter Fair were treated to a Welsh Lamb cooking demonstration by current Welsh Chef of the Year Gerwyn Williams, from Betws-y-Coed.

The formal, carefully controlled project taste testing sessions will take place in January and February in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and a wide and diverse group of samplers are being recruited to ensure the broadest possible range of consumer interests.

“HCC’s stand at Winter Fair had a brilliant response from the public walk-ups who loved the great taste of sustainable Welsh Lamb and we are looking forward to the first of the consumer taste panel results in the New Year,” said Dr Thomas.

“However, this project is about securing Welsh Lamb’s position at the top of consumer shopping lists and so we’ll learn from them all and seek to inform the Welsh red meat supply chain about how we can make it even tastier in the future.”