Scots turn to lamb

Scottish lamb has seen a resurgence of popularity with consumers, meat bosses have claimed.

New results from Quality Meat Scotland, the red meat industry body, show that lamb sales in Scotland jumped by 11% over a 52 week period, according to TNS, with consumers spending nearly £30m on lamb in shops over the year - a £3 million increase on the year before.

Speaking before Scotsheep in Hawick this week, QMS chairman Donald Biggar said: "This turnaround in the popularity of lamb is a welcome boost for Scotland's sheep sector with sales topping the 4.1m kilo mark, that's up nearly half a million kilos on the year before. It's not just volume that's increased though, the value of product being sold is also up by 9.5%.

"The challenge for us now is to build on this and encourage even more consumers who are looking to buy lamb from livestock born, reared and processed in Scotland, backed by unique guarantees on animal welfare, to choose Scotch Lamb when they go shopping."

Traditionally, the Scottish market sees less lamb consumption than England and Wales, but QMS says the figures show more Scots are including lamb in their diets.

To continue to push lamb, QMS is now adding the final touches to this year's Scotch Lamb promotion, to be launched in late August.

The media campaign will run in two bursts - in the autumn months with the strapline "Scotch Lamb - It's Hot this Autumn" and again in February, "Scotch Lamb - It's Easy", promoting late season lamb.

Spend on last year's campaign topped the half million pound mark as QMS drew down on its reserves and secured extra funding from the Scottish government to help counter the impact of the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak on the already hard pressed sheep sector.

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