Lamb is still suffering from a relatively poor image in consumers’ eyes, producers were told last weekend.
It is still seen as not very special or versatile, according to Chris Brown, Asda’s agricultural development manager.
It was a message not lost on delegates to the Sheepbreeders’ Roundtable 2003 conference at Nottingham, who promptly latched on to ongoing research programmes showing the advantages of genetic selection for improved performance.
Conference chairman Jonathan Barber, chief executive of the British Charollaid Sheep Society, immediately gathered like-minded breeders together to sketch out a new marketing strategy for high performing stock from his own breed as well as Suffolk and Texels.
But Brown made it clear Asda was not going to be stampeded into any new initiative without further research.
“The sheep sector has done well this year, but there is much more work to be done in ensuring it is more adaptable and acceptable to consumers in the future,” he said.
Meanwhile a retailer in Northern Ireland is hoping to tempt consumers to lamb with a special promotion.
The Co-operative Group joined forces with the Livestock and Meat Commission to offer shoppers the chance to win a stay in a Northern Irish hotel.
The instant win promotion is featuring on packs of Co-op Northern Ireland lamb and is available throughout all its stores in the province.
Anna Fradgley, from the meat and poultry team, said: “This competition is a great opportunity to reinforce our support.”