British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has committed to sourcing 100-per-cent British lamb by July.
The retailer says that it is working with its farmers to increase the availability of quality new-season lamb on its shelves through May and June until it is all British.
Lamb from its meat counters is 100-per-cent British all year around, as well as that from its chilled Taste the Difference and organic ranges.
"Adding to this, we focus on maintaining 100-per-cent British-sourced lamb during the main season across our chilled range, which includes chops, joints and mince," said the retailer.
"The lamb season can vary from year to year, however, by having a strong relationship with our sheep farmers, we can work with them to make the most of the British lamb season to the quality that our customers expect."
This announcement follows Sainsbury’s move last year to extend the end of the British lamb season until New Year, making it five weeks longer than the previous year.
This helped make the most of the increased availability of stock from that season while reassuring farmers that were affected by low prices.
Speaking on the move, Philip Hambling, agriculture manager at Sainsbury’s, said, “The weather can have a big impact on our sheep farmers, so the cool, wet spring we have had means many of these farms have had a difficult start to the year."
The retailer never stops buying British lamb, he said.
"We feel it’s important to make this commitment to our farmers in advance, so they can plan for the season ahead.”
Henry Dunn, a sheep farmer from Newent, Gloucestershire, added, “I’ve worked closely with Sainsbury’s for over ten years. I think they really understand the impact the weather has had on us, and the importance of switching at the right time. Making this commitment up front means we have confidence in the coming months.”
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