Ed Bedington
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Severn Trent Water and a group of organic farmers have teamed up in an unlikely alliance to launch a range of wildlife friendly organic Welsh lamb.
The lamb is being processed and marketed by Graig Farm Producers, a producer group comprising 250 farmers.
RSPB chief executive Graham Wynne said the partnership grew from the society's management of Severn Trent Water's land at Lake Vyrnwy in Powys, Wales.
The charity runs a sustainable organic farm which Wynne said is vital for the area. "People don't realise how important farm management is for the health of the countryside."
But the operation is also commercial and the tri-branded lamb was launched this week.
Wynne said initially the products would only be available over the internet, through the RSPB web site and Graig Farm Producers site, which already operated a UK-wide delivery service.
Nigel Elgar, a director of Graig Farm Producers, said the RSPB operation of about 3,500 sheep did not have the scale or volume to gain listings with the multiples. But he said the launch would help raise the profile of Graig Farm Organics with the retailers. Wynne added there was nothing to stop them carrying out similar operations elsewhere: "Where there is the opportunity we will certainly be looking at it."
The products will feature the RSPB and Severn Trent Water logos and the label will contain full details of where the product has come from. The premium priced products can be bought in two pack sizes, a standard family pack of, effectively, half a lamb from £35 to a full lamb for £68.