New Zealand lamb producers have warned that UK supermarkets committing to domestic lamb only could alienate shoppers.

Responding to the news that Morrisons will not stock any fresh New Zealand lamb until at least 2009, the head of Meat and Wool New Zealand, Mike Petersen, told The Grocer that British meat importers were only responding to consumer demand.

"We would expect demand for New Zealand lamb in the new year to be strong," Petersen said.

"I would assume that Morrisons shoppers who want New Zealand lamb in 2008 will take their money where they can buy it."

However, he admitted he was concerned by Morrisons' move and warned that prices for all sheep farmers could be weakened if other retailers followed suit.

"The issue should not be about domestic product versus imported," said Petersen. "There are plenty of consumers in Europe for us all."