The Scottish lamb season is in full swing, backed by the industry’s new Scotch lamb promotional campaign entitled “Wham, Bam, Thank You Lamb”.
As part of its regular Shelfwatch examination of supermarket shelves, NFU Scotland found 100 percent Scottish or British lamb in Morrisons, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s stores. However, the volume of imported lamb on the Tesco and Asda outlets came as a major disappointment.
The NFUS is calling on these retailers to get behind the campaign and give Scottish shoppers the best chance of buying more Scottish lamb.
NFU Scotland president Nigel Miller said: “This is the time of year when supplies of quality, tasty Scottish lamb are plentiful and the industry’s promotional work focuses on encouraging shoppers to seek out and put some Scotch lamb in their baskets.
“Given the volumes that they require, retailers are key to a successful season for Scottish lamb. Visits to stores in the past few weeks found Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer exclusively stocked with British and Scottish lamb. However, it was a huge disappointment to find around half of the shelf space in Tesco and Asda being taken up by New Zealand or Australian imports, even after the campaign launch.
“Given that there are ample supplies of great Scottish lamb coming from farms, we will be urging Tesco and Asda to get behind the campaign and dedicate more space to home-produced product on their shelves. We hope, when we revisit these stores in the weeks ahead, significantly more packs of Scottish lamb will be filling the shelves.
“The ‘Wham, Bam, Thank You Lamb’ campaign runs right through September. There still remains a tremendous opportunity for these retailers to tap into the genuine demand from their customers for fresh, tasty local product and they, in turn, will get some real benefit out of stronger support for Scottish produce.
“Although we are at the start of the season, a higher level of commitment from Tesco and Asda to home-produced product would send out a positive message to farmers. That will generate the confidence and stability needed on sheep farms and help ensure lambs continue to be brought forward to the marketplace in an orderly manner and in the best condition.”