Good conditions herald a high quality English lamb crop

Favourable weather conditions through the winter and spring lambing season have contributed to an expected good season for domestically produced lamb, EBLEX has said.

Nick Allen, EBLEX sector director, said that after the terrible losses and exceptionally bad weather experienced through winter 2012 and spring 2013 made life very difficult for sheep and beef farmers alike, the fortunes for summer 2014 are in dramatic contrast.

And forecasts suggest that we will soon start to see high quality lambs coming forward to supply quality product to the market while offering good value for money for consumers.

”All the indications are that this has been a good lambing season for sheep farmers in terms of healthy lambs born,” said Nick.

“The weather has been excellent for grass growth so we can expect that there will soon be available some of the best quality home-produced lamb seen on the shelves for a number of years.

“Consumers should take the opportunity to buy a quality product and get exceptional value for money. ”

He added that current difficulties being experienced in the short term in the beef market were unlikely to directly translate to sheep trade because of the different market dynamics. The important thing was for producers to market their lambs at the right time – when they hit the spec processors are looking for.

“We are a major player in the international trade of sheep meat and there remains strong demand for our product at a time when other sheep meat exporters are not at the peak of their production.
This gives us plenty of opportunities to sell our sheep meat,” added Nick.

“Consumers tell us they love lamb for its great taste and tenderness so we would expect to see continued robust demand domestically with quality lamb available at a competitive price as we go through the next few months. Recent figures show that lamb sales are up *nine per cent compared to a couple of years ago.

Among the marketing work planned by EBLEX in the coming months is a TV advertising campaign to hit screens in September. There is also the cook with keema initiative, encouraging mums to be more adventurous by positioning lamb as the meat to go with spices and offering lamb keema recipes – an inexpensive Indian dish – with former X Factor star Stacey Solomon fronting it. Meanwhile, a range of field marketing projects in key markets abroad, notably France, are helping to stimulate demand in other countries.

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