welsh lamb© Rex

The Welsh red meat levy board will kick off its annual lamb promotion campaign early after this season’s farmgate price collapse.

Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales has pulled forward the start of its TV, billboard and digital adverts from September to July.

The marketing plan, which runs until the autumn, will be revealed at HCC’s board meeting next week.

See also: Strong sterling hampers ‘sound’ lamb trade

HCC is also in talks with retailers to make sure they are stocking good supplies of Welsh lamb, with reports of high New Zealand stocks in stores.

Lamb prices in Wales are down between £25-£30 a head on last year’s levels.


Watch the 2014 Welsh Lamb advert, “Not All Lamb Is Created Equal”:


 

HCC chief executive Gwyn Howells said producers faced a perfect storm of a strong pound, higher imports and plentiful domestic supply.

“The dramatic fall in prices is a worrying development for the industry,” he said.

HCC’s 2014 advertising campaign, “Not All Lamb is Created Equal” was shortlisted for national awards last year.

It included a “Baaftas” competition, in which people cooked their favourite dish with Welsh lamb and sent in a photo.

This week both liveweight and deadweight lamb prices took heavy tumbles.

The British liveweight SQQ dropped 17.7p/kg to 157.2p/kg in the week to 30 June.

The deadweight SQQ plunged 26.5p/kg to 384.9p/kg.

Current prices are down more than 50p/kg at auction markets and more than 84p/kg at abattoirs, compared with 2014.

Sterling’s strength continues to be the main factor, knocking both the value and volume of UK sheepmeat exports.

Returns from fifth-quarter cuts, skins, guts and wool are also lower, while there are reports of another large shipment of New Zealand lamb arriving in the UK.