NFU Scotland is working with the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association (SFMTA) to gain a better understanding of how lamb is tailored for meat supply chains.
In a meeting in Ingliston on Monday, NFU Scotland’s livestock committee agreed in a challenging lamb market the industry needed to work collaboratively.
Attendees saw a butchery demonstration from Iain Jolliffe of David Faults Butchers, Kilmarnock who explained how lamb was broken down into retail cuts and discussed the challenges in processing lamb.
NFU Scotland’s livestock committee chairman, Charlie Adam commented: “Farmers are experts on running sheep businesses but if we are to get change in all the supply chain we need to know about every stage of the lamb journey.
"It is critical that we work with all the partners in the supply chain and with farmers being affected by poor prices, the Union is exploring every avenue it can to help improve the situation.”
The joint initiative is set to continue in the coming months. Livestock committee members will attend regional SFMTA meetings to discuss beef and sheep farming.
Douglas Scott, chief executive of SFMTA commented: “Iain demonstrated the skills and more importantly, the time involved in cutting lamb into saleable cuts, attractive to the modern consumer.
"We feel it is extremely useful for farmers to fully understand the challenge that craft butchers face in creating a return on their efforts to sell Scotch Lamb.”
Discussions have increased around the UK farm industry in recent years about declining lamb consumption and how to make lamb an attractive and convenient meat to young consumers.
After remaining under pressure for much of 2015, UK lamb prices have increased in recent weeks with Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) suggesting retail promotion activity and coverage of the market’s downturn have contributed to the rises.