Jamie Oliver has joined the National Farmers' Union's calls for shoppers to buy British lamb, as the outbreaks of foot-and-mouth and bluetongue continue to hit livestock farming.
The celebrity chef said there had never been a more important time to buy lamb and create meals which are both healthy and versatile.
The UK livestock industry has been crippled by movement restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the diseases in East Anglia and Surrey.
Although markets are set to re-open on Thursday, the current oversupply has weighed heavily on sheep prices which are now some 30% below the cost of production, farmers claimed.
Oliver said: "Now is the time for a call to action to help our British farmers. It's been a tough year for them and for many it's just getting worse.
"I'd like to encourage everyone to buy more British lamb, at least for the next few weeks. Try lamb mince in your Spaghetti Bolognese for a change. Or try a beautiful roast shoulder of lamb on Sunday instead of what you might usually have."
NFU livestock board chairman Thomas Binns said: "It is a fantastic endorsement to get Jamie Oliver on board and his support will inject some much needed confidence in the industry. Hopefully consumers will support British sheep farmers through this extremely difficult time by buying lamb which carries the Red Tractor logo."