Farmers throw down gauntlet to retailers over British lamb

Lamb farmers have called on supermarkets to do more to support British lamb. 

The National Farmers’ Union Scotland (NFUS) has urged retailers that are not currently supporting domestic lamb to follow the lead of Aldi and Sainsbury’s by increasing their ranges and seasons.

Aldi recently revealed that it was doubling the number of British lamb products, while Sainsbury’s has extended its British lamb season into the New Year.

NFUS committee chairman Charlie Adam said: “We have thrown the gauntlet down to those retailers to boost lamb sales in the wake of the news that Aldi is doubling its range of domestic lamb. Last week Sainsbury’s also committed to extending their British lamb season in the future and this is welcomed. We now urge all retailers to increase their commitment to domestic produce.

“Our message is simple, demand for lamb is increasing and this demand must filter down to farmers who need a better return from the market. We have spoken to other retailers who have similar plans and are expecting more detail in the coming weeks.”

The plea comes following a decrease in lamb prices over the past six months. Earlier this year, a group of lamb farmers in England and Wales withheld their prime lamb to highlight falling prices. The protest also centred around the fact that consumer prices hadn’t dropped to match the falling farm-gate prices.

Adam said: “We need a fair supply chain that rewards farmers enough for their efforts. In September we saw on 43.8 per cent of the retail price being paid to the farmer.”

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