Marks & Spencer commits to year-round Scotch lamb

One of the UK’s largest retailers, Marks & Spencer, is looking for 10,000 to 12,000 additional prime animals following a commitment to stock only Scotch lamb in its stores north of the border.

M&S is looking to source the animals, equivalent to more than 1% of Scotland’s total lamb production based on 2016 figures, between now and June.

All animals will be sourced exclusively from the retailer’s select farms in Scotland, must have full provenance and be slaughtered at Scotbeef, Bridge of Allan.

See also: Retailers slammed for misleading lamb labels

The decision to solely stock Scottish lamb was driven by customer demand, said M&S head of agriculture, Steve McLean.

“We know that our customers really like to buy regionally sourced meat, so we have been working hard with our suppliers to find a way to bring them a year-round supply of delicious fresh lamb from Scottish farms.

“In 2016 we sourced UK lamb for 42 weeks of the year. For 2017, we have not made the switch to New Zealand lamb in our Scottish stores, and instead will supply 100% Scotch lamb throughout the entire year.”

Fantastic opportunity

The M&S announcement was exciting for Scotch lamb producers, said Ian Watson, chairman of livestock marketing co-operative, Farm Stock Scotland.

“This new market is great news for our farmers, and I am sure they are up to the challenge of delivering stock to meet this fantastic opportunity.

“M&S is to be applauded for making this commitment to our industry, it is now our turn to ensure that we meet its expectations.”

“Our field staff are now actively working to procure an additional 5,000-6,000 lambs over and above what we would normally require in the next few months.”

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