ABP Dorset Crown lamb

ABP is targeting its Dorset Crown English lamb at butchers and foodservice

ABP Food Group is looking to capitalise on growing demand for British lamb with a new branded range of English lamb for the UK foodservice and wholesale butchery sectors as well as export customers abroad.

The Dorset Crown range is matured for a minimum of seven days, and ABP intends to market it on its tenderness and flavour. It will be processed at ABP Yetminster, which used to be Romford Wholesale Meats until ABP acquired the site in 2011.

“Following the acquisition of Romford Wholesale Meats, ABP have been keen to capitalise on the growing demand for quality British Lamb in both the domestic and export markets,” said a spokesman.

Dorset Crown would be targeted at wholesale butchers at home and abroad “who want to offer consistently great quality British lamb to their hotelier, restaurateur or catering customers” as well as foodservice customers and export markets in Continental Europe, he added.

ABP UK marketing manager Michael Budd said the first export deal for Dorset Crown was on course to be completed this month, to a Swiss customer, adding “we are delighted by the positive customer response so far”.

ABP was not looking to sell Dorset Crown into the UK multiples “as that is an own-label environment which ABP already serves with own-label fresh lamb product”, the spokesman said.

Dorset Crown was launched by ABP at the Anuga international food fair in Cologne this week.

ABP said it had taken its biggest-ever stand at the fair this year – measuring 225 square metres – and would promote a total of 11 brands from its UK, Irish and Polish sites. It comes after the company was embroiled in the horsemeat scandal earlier this year, when a frozen burger made for Tesco at its Silvercrest plant (since sold off) tested positive for 29.1% horse DNA.

CEO Paul Finnerty said: “I am pleased to attend this event knowing despite a challenging year we have retained the support and confidence of our customers and suppliers, and are on track to grow the business in this financial year.”