Asda Offers Lamb Hill Farmers a Life Line
Today [22nd August 2007] ASDA announced it will sell a specially-developed Hill Lamb Pack to help hill farmers hit by the recent outbreak of foot and mouth mitigate their losses.
The news comes as the European Union’s Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health meets for the first time this week [Thursday, 23rd August 2007] to discuss if and when the export restrictions on British meat should be lifted.
In the past, hill lamb producers have proven to suffer hardest and first in the aftermath of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.
When the first case of foot and mouth was discovered on 3rd August, the export market for British hill lamb disappeared leaving farmers with hill lambs, popular in countries such as Spain and Italy, no route to market.
The ASDA Hill Lamb Pack has been created for ASDA by its lamb supplier, Welsh Country Foods, and comprises a leg joint, breast, shoulder joint and chops (a quarter of a lamb).
It is available in ASDAâ€™s larger stores nationwide and ASDA expects initial sales to be the equivalent of around 500 hill lambs – thatâ€™s around 20 per cent of the hill lambs Welsh Country Foods would expect to export a week.
â€œThe 2001 foot and mouth outbreak showed us that hill lamb producers are among the worse affected when overseas markets are lost.â€ said Pearce Hughes, ASDAâ€™s agriculture development manager.
â€We wanted to create something that would offer an immediate lifeline for farmers whose lambs are normally exported.
Although we canâ€™t solve the problem for all hill farmers, we do hope it will go some way to preventing a price crash until exports resume, which, fingers crossed, will be very soon.â€