Booths looks to welfare on lamb

Booths is claiming to be the first UK food retailer to ensure 100% of its Lakeland Herdwick lamb is Freedom Food-accredited from this season.

Booths said it is backing the RSPCA's Freedom Food scheme to offer its customers clear assurance of Herdwick quality and provenance, as well as the animal's welfare standards.

All farm animals under the Freedom Food scheme must be reared according to strict RSPCA welfare standards. Regular traceability checks will be carried out, from Booths shelves right back to the farm, to ensure that everyone involved in the production of Freedom Food labelled products has been approved by the scheme.

The retailer has teamed up with farmers across Cumbria as part of the scheme, including Ian Knight, a young farmer from Church Stile Farm in the Wasdale Valley, who has supplied Booths with Herdwick since 2006.

Knight said: "Getting Freedom Food-accredited has added an extra dimension to our Lakeland Herdwick lamb. Our customers already knew that Herdwick has a fantastic flavour and comes from the heart of the Lake District, but Freedom Food has enabled us, as farmers, to demonstrate that it is also produced to the highest welfare standards."

Nigel Cokell, fresh meat buyer for Booths, said: "Our commitment to Freedom Food Lakeland Herdwick gives our customers the assurance of the highest level of animal welfare, plus the knowledge that they're getting the best-tasting, locally sourced product."

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