FARMING leaders have welcomed Sainsbury’s announcement it will increase what it pays sheep farmers for their lamb.
The supermarket said it will pay its 800 lamb development group farmers £3.60/kg. The current price generally is £3.20/kg.
Stow producer and NFU Scotland president Nigel Miller said: “This will provide a real boost to the cash flow of farms whose finances are being relentlessly hit by the combination of poor weather, poor market returns and high input costs.
And he said he hoped it would act as “a wake-up call to all retailer buyers of Scotch Lamb of the imperative to support farmers as they enter the next production season”.
The boost follows the union’s ongoing ‘secret shopper’ missions in supermarkets. The latest last week found Morrisons stocking only Scottish or British lamb, Sainsbury’s selling its Blackface lamb label and some imported packs, but in Tesco and Asda the majority of lamb for sale was from New Zealand and Australia.
Mr Miller said: “The 2012/13 season has been a struggle from the start with sodden fields, poor growth rates in lambs, higher feed costs and falling returns. This is a time when sheep farmers need a confidence boost.”