The Co-Operative plans to extend it British lamb sourcing season from next year following discussions with the NFU and Farmers For Action (FFA).
After issues were raised by the bodies about the retailer’s policy on lamb sourcing the Co-Operative has said it will extent its British lamb season beginning next year by entering earlier and extending the season later.
In a written response to the bodies which was shared with Farmers Guardian, the retailer’s senior agricultural manager Ciara Gorst also highlighted Co-Operative commitments to stock three lamb lines which were exclusively British all year round.
"In 2016 we aim to roll out a local sourcing initiative and will seek to introduce local lamb ranges," the letter added.
"We are committed to working with our lamb supply chain and farming group on agricultural projects to improve efficiencies on farm and deliver quality products throughout the season to benefit all parties."
The announcement was welcomed by NFU chief livestock adviser John Royle who claimed it was important farmers needed confidence they had a market for the lambs produced early in the year.
He said: “UK lamb producers have been under severe pressure this year as farm gate prices for their lamb has unsustainably low and below the costs of production. Farmers need to see commitment from the British retailer sector so they can invest in their businesses.
“So it is great to see this early commitment from the Co-op to extend the period it sources British, which is vital when we have plenty of supply which is of great quality.
"We also welcome the news that the retailer is stocking three lines all year round and its introduction of a local lamb sourcing initiative."