29 January 1999

NZ lamb £1m ad boost

THE battle is hotting up for the hearts, minds and wallets of the British sheep eater.

New Zealand lamb is to get a £1m promotional boost this spring, while the Meat and Livestock Commission is spending a similar sum in an earlier-than-usual bid to raise consumption.

The Kiwi campaign, starting next month, highlights the significance of the UK, accounting for 32% of the countrys sheepmeat export income. "It is by far the most important market we have," says Laurie Bryant of Meat New Zealand.

The spend will also help sales of British product by increasing consumer awareness for all lamb, just as MLC promotions help New Zealand sales, he claims.

But John Thorley of the National Sheep Association is concerned. "If it boosts the amount of product on an already over-supplied market it is not complementary."

Farmers also fear further pressure on already-depressed sheep prices, which averaged less than 73p/kg at marts on Monday. &#42