Farming News - Waitrose commits to go 100% British lamb

Waitrose commits to go 100% British lamb

26 Nov 2019
Frontdesk / Livestock

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 yesterday at the Welsh Winter Fair

Richard Findlay on farm July 2018_55341

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."

NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker also commented: “NSA welcomes this commitment made by Waitrose and sees it as a strong statement of support to British sheep farming. The world is changing rapidly and within this, we are seeing trade dynamics change too.
 
“Our New Zealand counterparts will see this as an unfavourable move but there is no denying that the sustainability agenda is driving a change in attitude, with many nations seeking to protect their own interests and to localise trade where it makes sense.
 
We have been saying for a long time that Britain has the climate, the topography, and the sheep farming systems to be able to supply high-quality lamb throughout the year and the NSA is keen to work with any supply chains that want to establish long term economically, environmentally, and ethically sustainable sourcing arrangements.”