A new brand mark for English beef and lamb could be on the cards following the fragmentation of the Meat and Livestock Commission into separate units for England, Scotland and Wales.
Speaking to The Grocer after the first board meeting of the English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX), chairman John Cross said there was a detectable shift in nationalistic identities.
"We will have to work out whether this is worth developing and whether we need an English brand," he said.
Until recently, he said, the terms English' and British' had been perceived as virtually identical but with the devolution-inspired redirection of MLC funds back to Quality Meat Scotland and its Welsh equivalent, HCC, there were clear signs of market differentiation.
English beef and lamb producers had created 10 to 12 regional brands, some in association with supermarket groups.
Others could emerge from talks with rural development agencies.
With a first-year budget of £12.6m Cross could not rule out support for a new brand mark from EBLEX funds "if it helps us meet our targets".
n English beef and sheep farmers will soon be able to go online for a range of market prices, including daily auction market updates.
Eblex has agreed to launch a new website by the end of January which will feature for free a range of market prices including auction, deadweight and retail.

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