The British lamb industry is meeting New Zealand meat importers next week for a showdown over prices.

Representatives including the NFU and the National Sheep Association are furious because the season for imports has lasted longer than usual, and prices have been lower than ever. The NFU says British retailers are supporting New Zealanders by delaying the seasonal switchover to British lamb - even London's new Whole Foods store was selling New Zealand product this week.

NFU livestock adviser Peter King said retailers had to discuss the situation with domestic producers before setting out the 2008 import programme.