The NFU is calling on retailers to help sheep farmers deliver new season Red Tractor assured British lamb to consumers.
Easter is traditionally the start of the British lamb season, when home grown fresh lamb hits the supermarket shelves. But many shelves this Easter will be packed instead with lamb that has been produced thousands of miles away, deep chilled and shipped for 6-8 weeks halfway around the world.
Only Aldi of the leading supermarkets will be selling 100 per cent home-grown fresh lamb this Easter. Aldi has also joined the list of organisations that have signed the NFU’s Back British Farming Charter.
NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe, a sheep farmer from Leicestershire, said: “Retailers can ensure that shoppers have access to fresh British lamb by making their sourcing commitments clear to allow farmers to plan ahead. British farmers will gladly produce early season lamb if the demand is there.
“The move by Aldi to back British farming is great news for consumers wanting home-grown lamb, and shows real support for British livestock producers.
“Peak lambing season is March through to May. Sheep farmers can produce lambs earlier provided they get sufficient notice and clear market signals. However, we still have plenty of high quality lamb coming to market right now ready for the Easter trade.
“Many shoppers will now be thinking about their Easter Sunday meal, which I hope will be fresh Red Tractor assured British lamb. For those farmers who take the risk to lamb early, the support of the British public for their product is essential. I urge consumers to choose fresh home-grown lamb this Easter.”