‘Too little being done to promote British lamb’

Do more to promote British lamb, the National Sheep Association urges.

Do more to promote British lamb, the National Sheep Association urges.

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New techniques to extend when food is in season has led New Zealand lamb to appear on supermarket shelves year-round, meaning home-produced lamb is not being lauded by retailers, the National Sheep Association (NSA) said.

“Most sheep in the UK lamb over a four-month period in the spring and many come to the market between July and December,” the NSA’s chief executive Phil Stocker said.

“The British weather, our range of land types and diversity of farms allow our supply of high quality lambs to run throughout the year – but the fact is that the peak of production is during the autumn and early winter months and the trough runs from late winter to late Spring.

“This is why New Zealand lamb has for many, many years complemented our market. They lamb at the opposite time of the year to us and their peak should, in theory, complement our trough.

“But as with other foods, new techniques are used to extend seasons. We are therefore seeing New Zealand lamb appear on our shelves throughout the year and sadly, for profit reasons alone, some of our main retailers are choosing to sell products they can make a bigger margin on.”

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