Welsh dig deep to support struggling lamb

HCC - Meat Promotion Wales is digging deep into its reserves in a bid to support the beleagured Welsh lamb industry with a fresh burst of advertising.

The marketing bodies board of directors have announced they will make use of its financial reserves to fund some extra marketing activity, which will include television adverts, in response to the current low lamb prices.

Chairman, Rees Roberts, said: "I am very pleased to announce that our board of directors have agreed unanimously that we should use funds from our financial reserves to help the Welsh Lamb industry in a time of need.

"The reserves will be used to fund a TV advertising campaign for Welsh Lamb in July so that the brand is kept at the forefront of the consumer mind, right through to September, when we will continue with our planned marketing campaign."

HCC decided to take action, as lamb prices have been significantly lower than during the same period in 2006. Roberts said: "The market imbalance has come about primarily due to retail buying policies, leading to increased lamb imports, mainly from New Zealand.

"HCC will be facilitating talks with key UK retailers over the next few months to persuade them to review their seasonal buying policy, that currently favours imports in the first half of the year, although there is an abundance of quality home produced available to them."

"Consumer demand for lamb in the UK has been very robust recently. The retail price is good but the farm gate prices remain low and the gap between both is widening which suggests that supermarkets are increasing their profit margin.

"This situation cannot be allowed to continue for much longer and retailers need to be made aware of the seriousness of the situation. A greater percentage of the retail price needs to be captured by the primary producer if we are to have long term sustainability within the industry."

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