Beef and lamb sales in supermarkets were good on the run up to Christmas, according to figures from the English Beef and Lamb Executive.

For the four weeks to 6 January, retail beef sales were up one per cent – almost 3,000 tonnes, when compared with the same period the previous year.

That rise is the equivalent of about an extra 9,000 beef animals going into the food chain.

Lamb sales also did well with the annual figure, from the TNS Superpanel, showing a two per cent rise compared with the same period the year before – an extra 1,800 tonnes.

EBLEX head of marketing Andrew Garvey said: “These increases in beef and lamb show the work EBLEX and the other devolved bodies have been doing is stimulating the market.”