NFU Scotland calls for lamb support

NFU Scotland has written to some of the UK’s largest retailers asking when they expect to exclusively stock home-produced lamb in their stores. 

Livestock committee chairman Charlie Adam wrote to the major retailers routinely selling imported lamb – Tesco, Asda, Waitrose, The Co-operative – asking when they planned to switch to quality domestic lamb and asking them to consider extending their season for buying home-produced. This comes as farmers continued to express frustration and anger over supermarkets stocking imported lamb.

NFU Scotland welcomed Marks & Spencer’s recent decision to extend its season for buying UK lamb into the New Year, boosting the demand for later-maturing hill breeds such as the Blackface, Shetland and Cheviot.

It also thanked Morrisons, Lidl and Aldi for their consistent support for exclusively stocking domestic lamb all year round in their Scottish stores.

In his letter to retailers, he stressed NFU Scotland’s willingness to continue to work closely with all supermarkets to build on the reputation for lamb produced in Scotland.

Adam said: “Farmers are out lambing across Scotland right now, and they want to know there will be a reward for their hard work and a ready market for their produce. As an industry, we are very proud of what we produce and, given the great story we have to tell, we want shoppers to be able to buy lamb which has been bred and reared here in Scotland all year round.

“For those retailers who regularly stock imported lamb, we want to know when they are planning to switch to domestic lamb this year. Some of the largest retailers in Scotland fail to stock domestic lamb exclusively during periods when supplies of our lamb are more than sufficient to meet demand.

“We are urging them to work together with the industry to bolster the profile of our lamb. Extending their season for domestic lamb by a few weeks at the start or the end of the season would make a huge difference to Scottish sheep producers.”

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