Tesco signage© High Level/Rex Shutterstock

Tesco is to stop selling lamb with mixed-origin labels after nearly a decade of lobbying by UK farming unions.

The supermarket said it would stop selling lamb with mixed origin labels from February 2016 to allow customers to make more informed choices and to help develop a more sustainable UK farming industry. 

Tesco has previously faced anger from suppliers and confusion from consumers for selling fresh lamb mince and fresh lamb burgers with labels that read “UK & NZ”.

The retailer met UK farming unions and meat processors on Thursday as part of regular talks with the farming and processing industries. 

Ruth Mason, chief food chain advisor at the NFU, said:

“It’s a really positive move [Tesco] have made this decision. We have been asking for it for about eight to nine years.”

Ms Mason said the supermarket had come to the realisation that single origin labeling was better for customers and that mixed origin labels was a sensitive issue for suppliers.

Following the meeting on Thursday, the NFU, NFU Scotland, NFU Cymru, and Ulster Farmers’ Union, issued a joint statement:

“The meeting involved robust, but useful discussions where all parties agreed that there was a real benefit in continuing conversations to develop greater transparency in the lamb supply chain.

“At this meeting Tesco has confirmed that at the end of February 2016, it will not be selling lamb products in mixed origin packs.

The unions welcome this move as it will allow customers to make an informed decision in the origin of the product that they are buying.”