When asked what the future had in store for the British sheep sector and how consumer trends were changing Philip Hambling told Glamorgan NFU’s county conference that Sainsbury’s was investing in a number of areas to support sustainable production.
“The UK consumer sees beef and lamb as a quality product and we are working closely with our farmers to ensure that quality perception and experience continues to deliver for customers,” he said.
“Collectively, we have a positive message to tell in terms of animal health and welfare standards, traceability and quality. I believe there is a bright future for lamb.
“We are however noticing a huge shift in the way people shop. Consumers are far more conscious about food waste and keeping to a budget, but quality remains an important component for product purchases.”
NFU Cymru president, Stephen James, told the conference that the union had increased its lobbying for clear country of origin labelling to ensure consumers could easily identify British products from New Zealand lamb or Irish beef.
“We believe this is hugely important and following our extensive lobbying, Tesco has confirmed that at the end of February 2016, it will no longer be selling lamb products in mixed origin packs,” he said.
“If consumers want quality we need to ensure they can easily find quality British products on the supermarket shelves.”