The Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) is confirming large numbers of schools across Northern Ireland have submitted requests to host farm quality assured beef and lamb cookery demonstrations during the current academic year.

These are given by the commission’s expert team of demonstrators, who have many years’ experience of working with secondary school students of all ages.

LMC’s marketing and communications manager, Lauren Patterson, explained:

We can host a total of 375 cookery demonstrations in any one academic year. And given the rate at which requests are coming in from schools at the present time, I can predict that we will be fully booked well before the end of September.

“Despite Covid-19, it is extremely satisfying to know that the LMC cookery demonstrations are so highly regarded by teachers.

We will always try our best to meet the needs of those schools getting in contact with us.”

LMC cookery demonstrations

The demonstrations have been structured to meet the needs of all post primary school student age groups.

Those in 'key Stage 3' classes are instructed in basic food handling and cookery skills, as well as principles of nutrition and traceability.

However, key stage 4 and 5 students receive unique insights, which complement the curriculum followed for the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessments (CCEA) Food and Nutrition (GCSE) and Nutrition and Food Science (A Level) courses.

Patterson continued:

“In addition to health, nutrition and cookery skills, the subject of the Northern Ireland Beef and Lamb Farm Quality Assurance Scheme, or NIFQA, is touched on at GCSE level and is included as a formal element of the curriculum for A Level students studying Nutrition and Food Science.

Students must be able to identify the NIFQA logo and demonstrate understanding of its purpose and application."


This is the second year which sees the LMC demonstrations working within the Covid-19 protocol put in place by the commission.

“This is not a problem for us. The children are still bubbling within the classroom while the demonstrators remain PPE-compliant at all times.” said Patterson.

The demonstrations have been tailored to meet all of the criteria put in place by the schools, while also delivering for the students taking part.”

LMC has been hosting cookery demonstrations in schools across Northern Ireland for over 20 years.

Their success has been based on the benefit they deliver for students and because they fully complement the curriculums followed in schools, according to the LMC.

Role of QA beef and lamb

The commission added, at a very fundamental level, the demonstrations are allowing school children to learn about the role of farm quality assured beef and lamb within a balanced diet.

And this is a story that has a very strong farm to fork dimension associated with it.

Patterson continued: “All of our presentations are very much science driven. Beef and lamb are unique sources of minerals and vitamins, all of which play a critically important role as key drivers of nutrition across all age groups.

Our demonstrations have been developed with the full support of teachers and those developing the curriculums taught in our schools. And this will always be the case. Complementing the course work taught in the classroom is at the heart of everything that we do.

“LMC’s input at school level is also helping students to develop invaluable life skills.

“Students are consumers in their own right. So it is important that they are given relevant information which allows them to make properly informed decisions, when it comes to the foods they eat," she concluded.