24 August 2001

Integrated lamb system

SHEEP farmers who use an abattoir in Wales could soon be £1.70/lamb better off, thanks to a new scheme being launched by Safeway.

The supermarket plans to build an on-site disinfecting and inspection area, costing about £36,000, at the Hamer International abattoir in Powys, Wales.

This will save farmers taking lambs to a collection point to disinfect their vehicle and have lambs inspected at a cost of £3 apiece. The integrated system will cost farmers £1.30/lamb, says the retailer.

A Safeway spokeswoman said lamb sales were almost a third above pre-F&M levels, and the scheme should provide a more consistent supply of lamb to the abattoir.

"We believe this system will reduce costs for farmers, and allow us to sell lamb at a competitive price, encouraging customers to buy more British lamb," said Safeway director, Kevin Hawkins.

The scheme is expected to run by the autumn. &#42