Farming and sheep bodies join forces on lamb

As lamb prices take a tumble, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has teamed up with the National Sheep Association (NSA) and produced the ‘Vision for British Lamb Production’ report.

The report “highlights strengths and weaknesses in the sector”, while promoting collaboration across the food chain.

Phil Stocker, NSA chief executive, said: “We are proud of the report, and particularly the fact the two main organisations representing sheep producers have come together in this way. For the first time we have pooled our resources to produce a clear, consistent message about where the industry should be going. The report provides a framework to keep us focused on our main goal, which is to help sheep producers make the most of opportunities that will strengthen their businesses in times ahead.”

The report, which will be used to inform and influence government policy and decision-makers, alsohighlights the need for industry to react in real time to market signals, such as falling prices, to prevent crisis. Charles Sercombe, NFU livestock board chairman, also emphasised the need to explore foreign markets for British lamb to be exported: “The sheep industry in this country has a bright future and is well-placed to address the challenges of global markets and to take the opportunities that are presenting themselves. The vision for lamb production, launched at the Sheep Event, sets out this positive vision and identifies areas we need to tackle to achieve it.

“A successful industry is one with a ruthless focus on supplying the market with the product it needs as efficiently as possible. This will involve long-term partnerships across the supply chain to identify and clearly communicate customer requirements. It will need appropriate marketing of our product on its inherent values, including great eating quality, high welfare and sustainable environmental management. Finally, government must actively tackle legislative barriers which reduce competitiveness and our ability to efficiently supply markets across the world.”

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