Retail giant Sainsbury’s has announced all of its fresh lamb will be 100 per cent British and 100 per cent new season as of July 1 2017.
The supermarket has said it is making the change to support the British lamb industry and provide customers with quality tender lamb throughout the 2017 season.
A network of almost 1,000 British farmers who make up Sainsbury’s ‘Lamb Development Group’ will supply the lamb to stores across the UK.
Beth Hart, head of agriculture at the supermarket, said: “At Sainsbury’s, we sell British lamb all year round and our chilled Taste the Difference, organic range and meat counter products are 100 per cent British.
“Switching our core lamb range across to 100 per cent British lamb in season means we are supporting our British farmers.”
Hugh Darbishire, a farmer and member of the Lamb Development Group, said: “It is reassuring to British lamb farmers to have the commitment and support of such a big player in the industry.
“I have worked closely with Sainsbury’s for more than six years and seen my business transform during that time because of their knowledge and expertise in leading farming practices.”
NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe also welcomed the news, saying it was a ‘welcome boost for sheep farmers’.
“This move shows working with your supply base builds trust and innovation which improves quality and consistency, allowing the retailer to extend the period they stock British lamb”, he added.
“We would urge Sainsbury’s to extend the season for British lamb as far as possible.
“We know there has been a gradual decline in lamb consumption. That is why it is so important for the whole supply chain works hard to ensure the consistency and quality of the product, and to promote new cuts of lamb to a wider audience, including younger people and families.”
The announcement follows a call from former chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee Neil Parish MP for supermarkets to stock more British lamb.