Most serious attempt so far to solve supply chain problems Safeway builds regional with Northumbria line Safeway has launched another regional lamb promotion, aiming to match the success of its West Country brand which went into stores last month. The earlier national launch of English branded lamb was also regarded in the trade as an unexpectedly strong performance by the multiple and its supplier HM Bennett. The latest venture, formally launched on Monday at the Royal Show, will put Northumberland branded lamb into 180 stores in eastern England from July 8. Industry organisations including the Meat and Livestock Commission reckon that this multiple has made the most serious attempt so far to solve the supply chain problems via regional initiatives. Sheep producers have tended to be more opportunistic sellers than other farmers, creating difficulties for processors and retailers seeking security of supply. Safeway buyer Kelly Hathway said: "The launch of Northumberland lamb marks yet another milestone for Safeway and HM Bennett in terms of supply chain co-operation, innovative arrangements with the region's lamb farmers being based on trust and commitment." These initiatives are about more than merely bringing geographical identity into the category. Up to a point they can increase the exposure of an unfamiliar product in the British market. The Northumberland venture will put 12-14kg lamb into supermarkets here. Traditionally, the lightweight stock have gone mostly into the export trade. "The development of an English market for them has helped to bring a certain amount of stability to the domestic market, while also meeting the needs of the consumer for smaller and more modern cuts," said Hathway. {{MEAT }}