Retailers "lazy" on lamb

A substantial increase in shelf space given over to imported lamb last month shows retailers are continuing to adopt an unnecessary wholesale switch to overseas product at critical times in the year, according to the EBLEX.

GB data shows the import penetration of fresh and frozen lamb stood at 55.9% for March 2007, over 9% more than the same time last year.

EBLEX chairman John Cross said: "We know that many retailers continue to be extremely supportive of domestic product. However these figures clearly show others are continuing to adopt the lazy option of switching wholesale to imports at a time when slaughtering figures indicate there is plenty of quality home produced lamb available on the market.

"EBLEX firmly believes that a 'one stop shop' should not mean a 'one choice shop'. Many farmers will argue this is at odds both with the oft-stated desire of retailers to see a sustainable livestock sector and to allow their customers the right to exercise choice when purchasing fresh meat."

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