The NFU has welcomed an announcement by Waitrose that it plans to source all its own label fresh and frozen lamb from British lamb producers 365 days of the year.
The retailer already offers British lamb on its meat counters all year round, and will aim to make the move by June 2021, with all of its organic lamb already 100% UK sourced.
All of Waitrose’s fresh chicken, pork, beef, eggs and liquid milk is already sourced exclusively from the UK.
The move will see Waitrose extend its commitment to British lamb producers as it focuses its investment on the future of British agriculture.
The announcement was made this morning (25 November) at the Welsh Winter Fair.
NFU livestock board chairman Richard Findlay (pictured above) said:
“This is a significant move by Waitrose to back British farming and make a commitment to stock 100% British lamb all year round by June 2021 across its own label fresh and frozen products. It will provide a welcome boost for the UK sheep sector at a time when our future trading relationship is uncertain.
“It means the public have more opportunity to buy British, locally produced lamb reared to some of the highest and environmentally sustainable standards in the world. We know from a recent IGD/AHDB survey that almost 70% of shoppers want to see more British food on supermarket shelves.
“Waitrose has previously been a strong supporter of the British livestock industry and this commitment, which will see additional British lamb producers join its supply chain, will help to ensure our sector has a sustainable and ambitious future.”
Tor Harris, head of CSR, health and agriculture at Waitrose & Partners, said:
“We have always offered British lamb on our service counters all year round and we are delighted to be able to extend that strategy to the pre-pack lamb assortment. Britain is great at growing pasture and our move will help improve soil health and biodiversity on more UK farms.
“Waitrose & Partners is renowned for its range of quality lamb products, something we over trade in comparatively to our market share. Although we are already in a great position, we are constantly looking at ways to innovate our product and are actively looking to partner with new lamb producers around Britain to ensure we continue to offer great tasting, high quality lamb all year round."