UK - The falling price for new season lamb in the UK is giving cause for concern among British sheep producers.
NFU President Meurig Raymond has underlined his growing concern for the British lamb market as new season lamb prices have come under pressure in recent weeks.
“Late April typically sees the numbers of new season lambs increase, with prices adjusting through the season as increased supplies become available,” he said.
“However, the last two weeks have seen prices fall by nearly 20 per cent and the rapid decline is symptomatic of the volatility faced by lamb producers. This is extremely worrying, as early lamb requires a premium to cover its increased cost of production.
“Early season lamb is a premium product that delivers a top quality eating experience for customers.
“If the market does not reflect the higher costs associated with supplying early lamb, sheep farmers will question the long term viability of producing this high-quality and iconic British product for the Easter market.
“Consumers tell us that they want to see British lamb on supermarket shelves today and in the future.
“I share the anxiety of many sheep farmers about any external pressures that may further depress the price of their lambs. If farmers don’t have confidence in production, then long term supply of home-grown lamb to consumers is going to be at risk.
“In recent years we have been highly critical of retailers who have promoted imported lamb when British lamb has been at its best and in plentiful supply. Therefore, all eyes will be on retailers to see if they will give our great British lamb pride of place on their shelves.
“In the coming days I will be writing to major players within the supply chain and I expect them to live up to the commitments to British lamb made in response to criticism in past years.”
TheMeatSite News Desk