British farmers celebrate Loving Lamb Week with year-round availability
28th August 2018
Livestock markets helping keep British lamb on the plate all year
British farmers have reacted to demand and are bringing home-grown lamb to the consumer year-round, thanks to changes in farming practices and demand from the live sales ring, according to the organisation representing livestock markets throughout England and Wales, the Livestock Auctioneers Association (LAA).
Heading into national Loving Lamb Week (1-7 Sept), the initiative to increase awareness of the seasonality and sustainability of lamb production, as well as the tasty and nutritious product it brings to the consumer plate, livestock auctioneers highlight the fact that good numbers of lambs are now available through the year, across the country.
"In my time as an auctioneer, I have seen a dramatic change in the supply of lambs," says LAA chairman John Brereton. "We used to see very few lambs/old season lambs from January to April, whereas now numbers continue to be available most weeks. British farmers have risen to the challenge, with home-grown product available whenever needed."
Whilst there remains strong demand for the traditional early lamb for the Easter period, British farmers now have lamb available 12 months of the year, for both home trade and export markets.
"We now find lamb numbers in sufficient quantities in our markets every week," continues Mr Brereton. "British farmers are also very aware of the Muslim festivals and tend to cater for them, we therefore are seeing increased throughputs to cover for the higher demand around these periods."
Mr Brereton concludes, "In the past, multiples have felt it necessary to import lamb, particularly from New Zealand, to ensure they had a continuous supply at all times. Changes to farm practices now ensures they have availability of British lamb all year round.
"The live sales ring provides the competitive selling environment for vendors to gain best advantage, and farmers can receive advice on best times to bring to market, and guidance on meeting requirements for the halal food market."