Industry welcomes Sainsbury’s move on lamb
Published:  15 January, 2013

An announcement by Sainsbury’s last week was heralded as good news for its lamb suppliers and has been commended by the NFU.

The supermarket chain announced it would launch a lamb development group one day after the NFU revealed shocking figures showing lamb farmers were losing an average of £29 on each lamb they sold.

According to the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), the decision has meant that the 800 farmers who supply the Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference range, will get £3.80/kg for lamb. The NFU hopes the extra money will ease the burden on some of the hard-pressed farmers struggling with the tough lamb prices.

Livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe explained the move was positive and showed the supermarket chain had listened to its suppliers. He added: “It lays down the challenge to other major retailers to ensure their lamb suppliers also receive a fair price.

“The NFU will be looking closely at the procurement activities of all major retailers in the coming days. Consumers showed last summer on milk that they will not accept retailers paying farmers below the costs of production for food. Sainsbury’s has recognised that sheep farmers cannot run businesses on current prices. It’s clearly time for the whole trade to now show they are committed to a sustainable UK lamb industry.”

Eblex sector director Nick Allen said: “Any move that helps improve returns for lamb producers, particularly given the difficult recent weather conditions, is to be welcomed and this is certainly a step in the right direction.”

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