By FWi staff

A NEW initiative to market Welsh lamb has been described at the most exciting thing to come out of Wales since Prince Charles ate beef on the bone in Newport.

Farmers will be hoping that the promotion, launched today (Monday) at the Royal Show, will help boost lamb prices which have fallen in recent weeks.

At Monmouth, one of the larger Welsh livestock markets today, a total of 693 lambs were sold at an average of 82.48p/kg.

Although light lambs were up 21p to 84.9p/kg, the price of standard lambs was down 8.3p to 82.40p. Heavy lambs were down 6.16p to 82.97p.

Over the coming weeks, however, that could change.

A range of specially-branded Welsh mountain lamb products will be offer in 97 Safeway stores in England and Wales from next Monday (12 July).

The initiative aims to create a solid market for Welsh lamb and build a more secure future for future for its farmers.

Shoppers will be able to buy two packs comprised of a fresh half lamb at £21.99 which contains a selection of joints, steaks and chops.

A second multi-pack of lamb steaks and chops priced at £16.99 is being aimed at the market for barbecues or family suppers.

Each pack comes with a free handy re-usable coolbox and recipe leaflet giving a range of cooking tips.

Kevin Hawkins, Safeway director of communications, said the new marketing initiative showed what could be done when everyone worked together.

Producers have often accused supermarkets of using their vast buying power to drive down the prices that they pay farmers for livestock.

But Mr Hawkins said that supermarkets could work together with producers to promote local produce.

“We are not the problem,” he said.

Under this latest promotion, the meat will sell at a 25% discount funded by Safeway but some producers may still be wary because there is no price guarantee.

Don Thomas, promotions director of Welsh Lamb and Beef Promotions, which is backing the promotions said he hoped to secure a minimum-price deal soon.