25 July 1997

Brand offers true flavour of Wales

WELSH lamb producers are being urged to prepare for the launch of Marks & Spencers Select Farm Lamb scheme next season.

The companys meat and livestock procurement executives used this weeks Royal Welsh Show to talk to individual producers, farming unions and livestock promotion agencies about opportunities for supplying fast growing demand for clearly identified Welsh lamb.

Livestock specialist Megan Lewis said labelled Welsh lamb was being sold in 12 Welsh stores and 30 in the English midlands this year, and volume throughput had doubled.

"We are at the show to find new direct suppliers who are as committed to quality as we are," Ms Lewis said. "There is strong consumer interest in a full range of lamb carrying our new Welsh label, so there is an opportunity for producers to join with us in satisfying it."

The planned quality lamb scheme would be developed carefully in partnership with farmers and processors. Its aims were long term and Welsh lamb sold under the St Michael brand must offer customers consistent quality and a true flavour of Wales.

In return for matching specifications, which included farm assurance, producers could have access to a secure market, and prices that reflected the quality.

Win Merrells, M&Ss cheese and dairy products selector, added that she would welcome approaches from Welsh dairy processors.

"Wales is already an important source for Marks & Spencer cheeses – vintage Cheddar produced at South Caernarfon Creameries is our biggest selling cheese line," said Mrs Merrells, who was one of the judges of the Shows cheese championship.

"I am increasingly impressed by the high standards of cheese making in the principality, and there is an opportunity for many more processors to supply distinctive high quality cheeses. This includes small farmhouse makers who only produce enough for sale in a few stores."n

Megan Lewis was looking for more suppliers at the Royal Welsh Show.

Brand offers true flavour of Wales

WELSH lamb producers are being urged to prepare for the launch of Marks & Spencers Select Farm Lamb scheme next season.

The companys meat and livestock procurement executives used this weeks Royal Welsh Show to talk to individual producers, farming unions and livestock promotion agencies about opportunities for supplying fast growing demand for clearly identified Welsh lamb.

Livestock specialist Megan Lewis said labelled Welsh lamb was being sold in 12 Welsh stores and 30 in the English midlands this year, and volume throughput had doubled.

"We are at the show to find new direct suppliers who are as committed to quality as we are," Ms Lewis said. "There is strong consumer interest in a full range of lamb carrying our new Welsh label, so there is an opportunity for producers to join with us in satisfying it."

The planned quality lamb scheme would be developed carefully in partnership with farmers and processors. Its aims were long term and Welsh lamb sold under the St Michael brand must offer customers consistent quality and a true flavour of Wales.

In return for matching specifications, which included farm assurance, producers could have access to a secure market, and prices that reflected the quality.

Win Merrells, M&Ss cheese and dairy products selector, added that she would welcome approaches from Welsh dairy processors.

"Wales is already an important source for Marks & Spencer cheeses – vintage Cheddar produced at South Caernarfon Creameries is our biggest selling cheese line," said Mrs Merrells, who was one of the judges of the Shows cheese championship.

"I am increasingly impressed by the high standards of cheese making in the principality, and there is an opportunity for many more processors to supply distinctive high quality cheeses. This includes small farmhouse makers who only produce enough for sale in a few stores."n

Megan Lewis was looking for more suppliers at the Royal Welsh Show.