She may be synonymous with British cooking but celebrity chef Delia Smith has come under fire for her support of New Zealand lamb.

“When treating friends and family to luscious barbecue lamb recipes or feeding the family during the week, you need to know that the meat you are buying and cooking is of the highest quality, reared to exacting standards,” her website states. “Which is why New Zealand lamb is a great choice, whatever the occasion.”

The National Farmers’ Union has waded into the debate to defend local lamb, claiming it is produced to some of the highest welfare standards possible and envied around the world for its quality.

“We would urge consumers to buy British lamb, local if possible, and look out for the Red Tractor logo and quality standard mark,” said a spokesman.

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