Lamb sales up

Lamb sales have been given a boost according to the latest figures produced for EBLEX.

For the four weeks ending 2 December, total GB retail lamb sales were up by 14.3 per cent compared with the same period a year ago.

The really big gains were made in the frying/grilling category, with lamb steak sales rising by 44.1% and shoulder roasting joints which were up by 29.7 per cent.

Over the period 9,000t of lamb were sold with a value of more than £50 million.

EBLEX chief executive Richard Ali said: "At the industry's request EBLEX has concentrated its lamb marketing on increasing consumption in the face of all the problems caused by Foot and Mouth Disease.

"These latest figures for lamb consumption clearly show the industry's hard work is having a positive effect.

"Autumn is the peak season for lamb marketing but a huge backlog of animals had built up on farm because of restrictions imposed due to FMD.

"The lifting of those restrictions coupled with the support of retailers and shoppers, together with the reopening of export markets, has gone some way to alleviating the situation, though there is still a significant amount of work to be done by all those in the industry to restore normal trading conditions."

Earlier this year the EBLEX Board agreed to draw down additional levy reserves to extend and deepen the scope of this year's Autumn lamb promotional activity.

In addition to this levy-funded work, EBLEX has been working with seven Regional Development Agencies on regional lamb promotional activities, and has invested £500,000 of Defra's post FMD promotional funding package in a series of national radio and media adverts.