3 November 1995

Prospect of bonus for members of the FAWL scheme

By Robert Davies

WEST Wales flockmasters who join the Farm Assured Welsh Lamb scheme could be paid a bonus of up to 10p/kg on top-quality lambs. The offer follows a meeting in London this week with the Sainsbury food retailing giant.

Dyfed slaughterers and wholesalers Oriel Jones and Son forecast a sustained increase in demand for lamb from inspected farms.

"This is the way for the future," said Oriel Jones, who has supplied Sainsbury for five years. "Sainsburys Partnership in Livestock scheme links procurement, processing and retailing, and the company is fully committed to it."

There was an opportunity for all farmers to supply the high quality lamb the company wanted. But, increasingly, traceability and monitored assurances about production methods would be an essential component of the specification demanded.

"I have always said that farm assurance will eventually be the norm, rather than the exception. We have been supplying Sainsbury with some FAWL labelled lamb for the past year, and I am convinced that the trade is set to grow quickly. Increasing interest in farm assurance is also being shown by other buyers, and I would like to see many more farmers signing up."

Protect markets

They should do so, anyway, to protect their markets. But membership could also bring premium prices. This week the Llanybydder-based abattoir was paying bonuses of 6p to 10p/kg on eligible FAWL members lambs, depending on carcass conformation class.

Around 40 producers who attended the inaugural meeting of the local Partnership in Livestock group at Lampeter heard that the retail company was committed to long-term, three-way dialogue, that also involved farmers and loyal and professional suppliers like Oriel Jones and Son.