31 July 1998

Retailers extend Welsh promotion

NEW labels identifying beef and lamb as Welsh will be seen at a number of outlets over the next year.

Welsh Lamb and Beef Promo-tions, which annually spends £750,000 of the species promotion levies MLC collects from Welsh producers, announced the extension of existing links between abattoirs, retailers and caterers at the Royal Welsh Show.

And one initiative, involving Welsh Country Foods Anglesey abattoir and Asda, will offer producers a £1/lamb premium, plus bonuses for consistent quality. To become members of the Welsh Lamb Farming Scheme finishers must be registered with Farm Assured Welsh Livestock and meet strict carcass specifications.

The new arrangement will increase competition for sheep in north Wales, where a Tesco lamb producers club is based at Cig Mon Cymrus Llangefni plant on Anglesey. The processing company will also supply the new range of farm-assured branded Welsh beef due to be launched by the Somerfield chain in the autumn.

Marks and Spencer plans to extend its Prime Lamb from Wales selling season by handling later-marketed upland sheep for the first time. Cuts from farm-assured lambs that meet the companys specifications will be labelled Welsh Hill Lamb.

M&S was at the Royal Welsh to recruit beef finishers in mid and north Wales to supply cattle for sale as Welsh Reared Beef. Chris Gilbert-Wood, livestock manager, said customers responded positively when M&S put Welsh on labels.

Booker Cash & Carry launched a new range labelled Extra Mature Beef at the show. The products will be marketed under Bookers own Chefs Larder catering range, but will also carry the Welsh Beef logo.

The move extends the companys close links with Caernarfon-based processors Cwmni Cig Arfon, which already involves identified Welsh lamb. &#42