TV chef John Torode supporting British lamb campaign

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Celebrity chef John Torode has thrown his weight behind a new promotional campaign for lamb just as the latest market outlook predicts retail demand for the meat will fall by between 9-19% this year.

Lockdown saw retail volumes for lamb decline by 7.5% and now levy body AHDB has painted a bleak future in its latest market analysis, with volumes in the second half of 2020 expected to remain below 2019 levels.

AHDB states: “Losses for lamb in the retail market during lockdown are expected to continue, linked to the perception of lamb being a less versatile protein, as well as having a higher price point, meaning people feeling the pinch on household budgets may switch to cheaper proteins.”

The levy body’s most optimistic scenario, in which the takeaway market for lamb remains elevated, predicts a 9% decline in volumes, but if restrictions are prolonged or any relaxations to lockdown are short-lived and the food service sector remains closed for the rest of 2020, AHDB warns the overall demand for lamb could fall by as much as 19%.

However, at least imports are forecast to decline this year, driven by a lack of product availability in New Zealand and continued higher demand from China.

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