Taste of Heimat - Ox and lamb weeks in the Wesermarsch
by: Tessa Bornemann, Landkreis Wesermarsch and Jörg Wilke, The Northern Institute of Thinking
In order to give regional and seasonal products a higher level of attention and importance, lamb and ox weeks were set up in the region of Wesermarsch (Germany) by committed farmers, butchers, restaurateurs and other processors.
In addition to dairy cows, a typical sight of the Wesermarsch are numerous ox that graze for at least two years on the wide, lush grassland sites of the Wesermarsch before they are slaughtered and marketed as exclusively produced pasture beef. Over a hundred years of tradition, the oxen are culinary ambassadors and known across the borders of the region. In addition, the proximity to Jade, North Sea and Weser requires the maintenance of the river and sea dikes as protection against flooding. Flocks of sheep with their special claws prove suitable for many years. By their footstep they strengthen the turf and thus guarantee the stability of the dikes.
Ox – and lamb weeks to highlight regional food
In order to give regional and seasonal products a higher level of attention and importance, lamb and ox weeks were set up in the region of Wesermarsch since 1998 by committed farmers, butchers, restaurateurs and other processors.
During eight weeks a year, lamb (July / August) and ox specialties (October / November) are offered and specifically advertised in various restaurants, butcher shops and direct marketing companies. In addition, a program is organized with various events to inform consumers about, and to sensitize and to inspire consumers to buy regional products. As part of this, there are co-operations with local museums (such as theme days about sheep), producers (for example tours of the farm, cooking classes, live events) and tourism associations (eg. tourist offers with culinary markets). The annual kick-off event with buffet is well attended with over 200 guests.
Especially in the view of current climate and environmental changes, consumers are open to the topic of regionalization of the food sector and like to visit happenings, which convey the rural life feeling. From the perspective of avoiding long transport routes and CO2 pollution, regional economic cycles are becoming increasingly important. Nature and sustainable living are topics that are currently very suitable for marketing purposes.
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