Asda pledges support for UK lamb producers

Supermarket chain Asda has revealed plans to support the UK’s sheep farming industry by ensuring that most of its lamb will be UK-sourced as of mid-July. 

In an additional attempt to boost sales, lamb prices will be rolled back, encouraging more consumer interest.

This positive news comes at a time when lamb prices are struggling, Asda’s agriculture manager Pearce Hughes explained: “Unfortunately, a combination of reluctant retail sales, coupled with the strong pound has come together to put prime lamb prices under extreme pressure. We feel it is important that we send out a strong message to UK producers that we are backing them in these difficult times.

“As a result, from mid-July we guarantee that 100% of loins sold in Asda stores will be 100% British, as will boned-out leg joints and all half legs.”

National Farmers’ Union (NFU) livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe was thrilled with Asda’s commitment, saying: “I’m delighted that Asda has recognised the value of supporting British livestock producers by sourcing more British lamb and deciding to put it front and centre in their stores and promoting it to their customers, but this must go hand in hand with a fair and sustainable price to farmers.”

Sercombe explained why it was important for retailers to help increase sales of British lamb. “Current values are making it extremely difficult for sheep farmers to make any margin on lamb – this knocks confidence and an ability to invest in the business and in future production. We want to see Asda and other retailers using greater volumes of British lamb in ready- and frozen meals, as well as innovating to promote other cuts.”

Hughes concluded: “It is important that the entire lamb supply chain pulls together at this time to do all we can to encourage increased consumption, which can in turn help deliver better prices for farmers.

“Asda and its suppliers are working hard through our LambLink scheme to deliver increased value back to sheep farmers and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.”

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