The Scottish lamb season needs retailer support but NFUS has found disappointing levels of imports in Tesco and Asda stores

The Scottish lamb season is now in full swing, backed by the industry’s exciting 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 Sainsburys stores.  However, the volume of imported lamb on the Tesco and Asda stores visited came as a major disappointment.

The Union 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, who joined staff in visiting supermarkets in the Lothians and Borders, 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.  Staff and officeholder visits to stores in the past few weeks found Morrisons, Sainsburys and Marks & Spencer exclusively stocked with British and Scottish lamb.  However, it was a huge disappointment to find around half of 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 forward from farms, we will be urging Tesco and Asda to get right 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 that lambs continue to be brought forward to the marketplace in an orderly manner and in the best condition.”  Ends

Notes for Editors
 NFU Scotland regularly monitors supermarket shelves to examine the support given to Scottish and UK produce.

 In the Tesco store at Galashiels, there were 83 packs of lamb available consisting of joints, chops, steaks, diced and mince  – 15 packs bore the Scotch lamb label, 16 packs were marked as British, 39 packs were from New Zealand and 13 packs of lamb mince contained mixed New Zealand and British lamb.

 In the Asda store at Dalkeith, there were 49 packs of lamb on the shelves - nine packs bore the Scotch lamb label, 19 packs were British or UK and 21 packs contained Australian or New Zealand lamb.

 In the Marks & Spencer store at The Gyle near Edinburgh there were 35 packs of lamb – 32 were labelled with the store’s own Scottish label and 3 British.

 At the Sainsbury's store at Straiton near Edinburgh, there were 107 packs of lamb – 54 were in packs with the supermarket’s own Scottish label and 53 labelled as British lamb.

 At Morrison’s at The Gyle there were 59 packs of lamb, 45 bearing the ‘Scotch’ or ‘New Season Scotch’ label and 14 labelled as British.

 The new Scotch Lamb campaign “Wham, Bam, Thank You Lamb” was launched by red meat levy body Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) on 21 August 2013. It aims to change shoppers’ perceptions about lamb and establish lamb’s credentials as easy to cook, versatile and a perfect ingredient for Scots’ weekly shopping lists. The six week campaign includes prime-time radio adverts as well as print advertising and a new microsite - - featuring six “how to” videos showing how quick and easy cooking with lamb really is.

Date Published:

News Article No.: 106/13

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