The agreed minimum prices for organic lamb are £4/kg deadweight in January, rising to £4.70/kg in May 2012, while a minimum year-round organic premium of 10p/kg above equivalent conventional markets will also apply.
This should help ensure a year-round supply of organic lamb and dismiss the need for imports, which have come from New Zealand in the past.
“The main point is that these are guaranteed minimum figures,” said Graig Producers’ managing director, Bob Kennard. “This is a first and a major step forward; we hope this will put some confidence back into the store market.”
In the past, finishing organic lambs in the January to June period had been something of a gamble because of the extra feed costs, he said.
Last year had seen some organic lamb sold into the conventional live markets when the export led price there ran ahead of the deadweight market.
The organic lamb market is showing signs of modest growth after contracting following the financial crisis. Graig Producers has more than 400 sheep and beef farmer members throughout England and Wales and supplies supermarkets with organic beef and lamb. It acts as a hub, looking for the best market, identifying new markets, adding value and securing predictable prices.