Marks and Spencer is extending its UK sourcing of lamb by a further six weeks in 2017.
The food and fashion group’s head of agriculture and fisheries, Steve McLean, told NFU Cymru delegates from across Wales that farmers were at the front of the supply chain and it was important that their businesses were profitable.
“Our procurement policy is key to our business and its longevity, therefore ensuring good sourcing and maintaining high product standards are key to us as an own brand retailer,” he told the board meeting in Builth Wells.
“Our lamb suppliers are important to us and this is why we have decided to extend our UK sourcing of lamb by a further six weeks in 2017.
“Furthermore we are keen to work with our farmer suppliers to develop more regional sourcing of lamb, which will clearly benefit Welsh farmers.”
Wyn Evans, the union’s livestock board chairman and a beef and sheep farmer, said he was ’delighted’ with the announcement.
“In a time of uncertainty for the farming industry, it is encouraging that Marks and Spencer recognises the quality of Welsh and British lamb.
“Going forward we must focus on what consumers want and their changing demands, with regards to carcase weights and specifications, because ultimately we want to see more PGI Welsh Lamb and Beef in prominent positions on supermarket shelves.
“We hope the extension of UK sourcing of lamb will prove popular for Marks and Spencer and they will look at moving to 100 per cent UK sourcing in the near future.”