booths herdwick welsh lamb

Rare breed Herdwick lamb has returned to Booth shelves for a limited period.

The breed, reared only in the Cumbrian hills, went on sale in the chain last week and will be available for the next four months. Booths is the only major retailer to stock the product.

Herdwick lamb had enjoyed a renaissance with consumers in recent years, Booths said, and was popular among top chefs for its distinct flavour, the result of a diet of wild grass and herbs.

There are only 13,000 remaining upland holdings in England with some 20% of those farmers expected to retire or stop farming in the next five years. However, Booths had managed to secure supply of the breed through a programme whereby farmer Ian Knight sourced lamb from several local farms and supplied it to Booths for a guaranteed fair price.

“One of the worst things about farming is the uncertainty of the value of lamb,” Knight said.

“Working with Booths guarantees secure demand and a fair price for our Herdwick lamb. This enables farmers to plan ahead and invest in a sustainable future for their businesses,” he added.

“Herdwick is certainly one of Booths hero products and there is growing demand for this meat, with its distinctive gamey flavour of the fells,” said Booths meat buyer David Simons.

“The increase in sales is in part to greater awareness for the breed, customers now ask for Herdwick at the butcher’s counters. We are proud to help sustainably increase our supply of the meat and extend the season over time to give Herdwick the shop window it deserves.”