Love lamb week returns with ‘naturally delicious’ theme

The annual week-long celebration of UK lamb will be returning next month for an eighth year, with sheep producers set to shine a light on the sustainability of their sector.

Love Lamb Week, running from 1-7 September, aims to remind consumers of the taste and quality that UK lamb brings to the dinner table.

The popular initiative will focus on how lamb is ‘naturally delicious’ and due to the country’s climate and landscape, with plenty of rainfall and grass, the UK is an ideal place to produce lamb sustainably.

As in previous years, the industry-wide initiative is supported by groups such as AHDB, Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales), Quality Meat Scotland and LMC in Northern Ireland, among others.

AHDB Head of Marketing, Carrie McDermid said: “We are delighted to be supporting Love Lamb Week for an eighth year.

“It provides us all with the opportunity to celebrate UK lamb, a family favourite due to its superior taste and quality and shine a light on our world-class food and farming standards.

 

 

by Farming UK / AHDB

UK ministers accused of failing to fight for farmers with NZ trade deal

Welsh farmers’ leaders have criticised the UK Government’s new trade deal with New Zealand and says ministers have failed “to fight for the interests of our farmers”.

The government is also accused of blocking scrutiny of the deal which is currently awaiting MP’s approval.

Comparing the UK’s deal with a recently agreed pact between the EU and New Zealand, the Farmers’ Union of Wales says the import quota for sheep meat in year one of the agreement signed by the UK is more than forty times higher per head of population in the UK compared with the European Union agreement.

The EU-New Zealand trade deal, recently agreed in principle, would allow an additional 5,429 tonnes of sheep meat to be imported duty-free into the EU in year one of the agreement, whilst the equivalent figure for the UK in the deal announced in February this year is 35,000 tonnes.

“The UK increase in duty free quota for New Zealand sheep meat would be almost six and a half times higher in year one than what has been negotiated by the EU,” said FUW President Glyn Roberts.

“However, when you take account of the fact that the population of the EU is nearly seven times higher than that of the UK, the increase per consumer is 43 times higher in the UK than in the EU.”

Mr Roberts said that another way of looking at the figure was that the EU had fought forty times harder for its sheep industry than the UK during its trade negotiations with New Zealand.

 

Nation Cymru

UK-NZ trade deal criticised by farmers

Farmers are expressing their deep concerns following the signing of a free trade deal between the UK and New Zealand on Monday (February 28).

Hailed by the government as a deal that will slash red tape for companies exporting their goods, British farmers have pointed out the UK market will be flooded with imported food, produced at lower standards.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “This deal will slash red tape, remove all tariffs and make it easier for our services companies to set up and prosper in New Zealand.

The NFU was quick to point out that UK farmers will now face “significant extra volumes of imported food – whether or not produced to our own high standards – while securing almost nothing in return for UK farmers.”

NFU President Minette Batters said: “As expected, this deal takes the same approach as the UK-Australia deal in eliminating tariffs for agricultural products, meaning that even for sensitive sectors like beef and lamb, dairy and horticulture, in time there will be no limit to the amount of goods New Zealand can export to the UK.

 

 

By Lisa Young / South West Farmer

AHDB challenges council’s plans to ditch meat and dairy

Oxfordshire County Council is seeking to move toward providing only plant-based food at future council meetings and events.

Vegan meals could also be made available on school lunch menus at least two days per week.

The controversial plans were passed in December as part of what the council says are efforts to tackle climate change.

In response, local farmers staged a protest outside County Hall in Oxford earlier this month, urging the council to drop the proposals.

Now the AHDB has sent a letter to councillor Liz Leffman, who is leader of the local authority, saying the move “fails to reflect the impact of livestock production here in the UK.”

 

by Farming UK

Lamb price firmness remains

In the week ending 9 February, the GB old season lamb liveweight SQQ averaged 267.3p/kg, 2.2p lower than the week before.

The measure stood at just over 4p below the price recorded for the same week a year ago. Despite this, it was still over 50p/kg dearer than the five-year average for the week.

The number of lambs sold at GB auction marts during the week was estimated at 105,800 head, 5% less than the week before but up 7% from the same week a year ago.

Cull ewes averaged £91.87 per head, up £3.31 on the week.

 

On the deadweight front, the GB old season lamb SQQ ticked up in the week ending 5 February by nearly 10p to average 587.4p/kg. This put the measure up nearly 7p compared to the same week a year ago.

Clean sheep kill was estimated to be 211,700 head for the week, down 1% from the week before but up 14% year-on-year.

 

 

by Hannah Clarke / AHDB

Abattoir plans £15m expansion in Bamber Bridge

Dunbia has applied for planning permission for a new beef chilling unit and other modernisation works on its site at Walton Summit to add to the £20m it has already spent there in the past two years.

The plans will go before South Ribble’ s planning committee on Thursday, with councillors advised to give them the thumbs up.

The plant, which processes cattle and sheep, is bounded by Church Road and the M65 motorway. It is one of 12 Dunbia sites in the UK and one of the biggest employers in the area.

The Northern Ireland based company says this latest scheme is the third phase of a £35m modernisation and rationalisation programme “giving security to the existing 730 jobs at Dunbia.”

A report to the planning committee adds: “Dunbia has invested over £20m in the last two years on this site. The scheme is part of that commitment and adds another £15m in investment.

“This investment secures existing jobs on the site and will create a further 100-plus construction jobs that may arise from this phase on investment (over 12 months).”

The work will involve erecting the new beef chiller unit, adding new lairage buildings for animals to be rested before slaughter, adding an extension to another building on the site and raising the roof on an existing refrigeration unit following the demolition of a storage shed and existing lairage spaces.

 

 

By Brian Ellis / Lancashire Evening Post

NZ Red Meat Sector Achieves Record Exports During 2021

New Zealand’s red meat sector exports reached $10 billion in 2021 despite the disruption caused by COVID-19, according to an analysis by the Meat Industry Association (MIA).

The exports represented a nine per cent increase on 2020. The value of red meat and co-products exported in December 2021 was also up 22 per cent year on year, at just over $1 billion.

Sirma Karapeeva, chief executive of MIA, said the sector had worked tirelessly in the face of ongoing global logistical challenges to continue to achieve the best possible results for farmers, the 25,000 people working in the industry and for the New Zealand economy.

“Despite all the disruptions and labour shortages, we were able to make the most of the global demand for red meat and generate record export revenue.

“The sector is continuing to perform for New Zealand in the most difficult conditions. However, supply chain challenges will significantly disrupt exports for some time to come and we do not yet know what impact that will have on the Easter chilled trade.

“This illustrates very clearly how critical it is for the industry to have access to sufficient labour including overseas migrants to capture the greatest market value and support the jobs of thousands of hard-working Kiwis.”

 

Overall, both sheepmeat and beef exports increased by five per cent and nine per cent year-on-year respectively, with both worth more than $4 billion for the year. Co-products exports also increased by 19 per cent, to almost $2 billion.

Red meat exporters have responded swiftly to adapt to rapidly-changing logistics environments – for instance, by converting chilled product to frozen, when needed, to address risks in the disrupted supply chain, says Ms Karapeeva.

While chilled sheepmeat exports to the UK dropped by 42 per cent in December, to the lowest volume in 25 years, frozen sheepmeat exports to the UK increased by 95 per cent.

Ms Karapeeva said that while there has been some softening in Chinese demand for sheepmeat from the previous high levels, prices in China have remained strong.

Overall sheepmeat export volumes to China dropped by 15 per cent in the fourth quarter. However, the value of sheepmeat exports to China increased by three per cent in the same period.

China remained the largest overall importer for the quarter (41 per cent), followed by the US (20 per cent), the UK (4 per cent) and Japan (4 per cent).

 

 

scoop.co.nz

Lamb exports to the EU will return to pre-Brexit levels, says Eustice

Defra Secretary George Eustice has claimed lamb exports to the EU will return to pre-Brexit levels in future.

British sheepmeat exports to the bloc have fallen by 25 per cent since the UK left the EU, with industry leaders blaming the sharp drop on non-tariff barriers such as paperwork and checks.

Last year, the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) warned UK meat exporters were having to spend an extra £1,000 to send a lorry through a port.

Smaller exporters, in particular, have struggled to handle the 29 different processes required to send meat to the continent.

Giving evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee this week (February 1), Mr Eustice said he expected the trade to bounce back over the coming years.

“Things like salmon have actually seen an increase in their exports since we have left the European Union, driven by high demand for premium product,” he told the MPs.

“I think we will see a similar situation on our other major agricultural exports like lamb. There will be some impact because of the additional export processes which are required and the costs associated with that, but the big exports we rely on will resume just as Scottish salmon already has.”

But National Sheep Association (NSA) chief executive Phil Stocker questioned whether this would be the case.

“[Trade] will never return to the way it used to be, and seeing the effect border control posts and export health certificate controls are having on exporters, I do not see our volumes to the EU returning to where they were,” he said.

 

 

 

By Abi Kay  / Farmers Guardian

 

Reduced abattoir throughputs may impact future trading patterns

Reduced throughputs at UK abattoirs will have a knock-on impact on future trading patterns, industry chiefs have warned. 

It comes as tight supplies of cattle and sheep have supported the continuing trend of above-average market prices into the first month of 2022.

But last year saw cattle throughputs reach their lowest level since 2015 at 2.7 million head, a 5.7 per cent drop on 2020 and 4.3 per cent below the five year average, according to Defra figures.

Glesni Phillips, data analyst at Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), said the decrease in cattle throughput at UK abattoirs last year was not unexpected.

“Increased numbers were processed during 2020 and this led to fewer cattle on the ground,” she said.

“This was especially true for adult cattle which saw throughput fall by almost 6 per cent on the year.”

 

 

Hannah Binns / Farmers Guardian

Lamb makes resurgence among consumers as sales soar

Lamb is making a resurgence among consumers, with sales of roasting joints soaring during the last two festive periods.

Most proteins saw roasting joints or whole cut volumes decline on the heights of 2020 but lamb was the exception, up 0.9 per cent and 3.3 per cent on Christmas 2020 and 2019 respectively, latest data from Kantar has shown.

Despite grocery price inflation reaching 3.5 per cent in December 2021, adding an average of £15 to shoppers’ monthly bills, consumers spent £662.5 million on lamb in 2021, a 12.6 per cent increase compared to 2019.

The average price of lamb also rose, up 4.6 per cent year-on-year.

 

Hannah Binns / Farmers Guardian