More British lamb on the shelves this year

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Major retailers are stocking a higher proportion of British lamb than they were a year ago, despite recent criticism that they are not promoting the product ahead of cheaper imported meat at homegrown season’s peak.

New research published by levy payers organisation EBLEX shows that 71 per cent of supermarket lamb is British, compared to 66 per cent 12 months earlier.

While the overall market share is higher, The Co-operative and Lidl are sourcing less British lamb than before - down proportionally by one per cent to 33 per cent at The Co-op, and 28 per cent lower at Lidl to 43 per cent. Sainsbury’s performed little better (53 per cent) but was still up by seven per cent on a year earlier.

All lamb sold at Aldi, Morrisons, Waitrose and Budgens was British, according to the survey which was undertaken in late June and involved ten retailers. Eighty-five per cent of supermarket beef was British, up three per cent.

Charles Sercombe, livestock board chairman for the National Farmers’ Union, said retailers could still do more to back British food production: “It’s clear that there’s plenty of room for other retailers to do better on British sourcing and promotion of British beef and lamb. The results for lamb show that many retailers have been slow to switch to British product this summer.

“It is disappointing that the Co-operative, Lidl and Sainsbury’s, who are normally good seasonal supporters of British lamb, have been seen to have low volumes of British on the shelves.”