Asda launches lamb boasting a little Extra

A NEW range of lamb products under the Extra Special brand have hit Asda shelves targeting food lovers who want only the finest quality meat cuts.

The range, which introduces three new cuts, uses lamb matured for a minimum of 14 days to enhance flavour and tenderness. The meat is hand-cut by butchers using traditional techniques. A spokesman for Asda said: "This range brings together the very high standards of traceability associated with Welsh Country Foods and the Lamblink farming scheme. Every carcase can be traced back to the farm it was reared on."

Anglesey farmer, Jac Foulkes, who has supplied lambs to Asda for more than a decade, is one of those appearing on the packaging of the new range. Dr Chris Brown, Asda's agricultural development manager, said: "Lamb continues to be a major driver within Asda's meat category generating over £1m in sales each week. Working closely with our partner, Welsh Country Foods, we have developed a new and innovative range to grow the market for British lamb."

Speaking about the recent closures of two major north Wales lamb abattoirs, Brown said: "I appreciate how worrying it must be for farmers hearing of another lamb processor closing down and we want to reassure the farming community of our full commitment to the farmers who supply us with lamb, as well as our commitment to Welsh Country Foods and the Asda Lamblink scheme."

Welsh Country Foods site director, Trevor Hanger, said: "Farmers must be on tenterhooks with all the news of lamb abattoirs closing down. I make no bones about it, trading conditions are tough. But our supplying farmers can rest assured, Welsh Country Foods is fighting fit and up to the challenges facing the industry." He added the company was investing heavily in the business and carrying out extensive trial work he hoped would lay the foundations for a prosperous British sheep industry for many years to come.