Waitrose has hailed the end of the culinary taboo on veal after the appearance of British veal on a TV cooking show led to a sales surge.

In Gordon Ramsay's latest series, The F-Word, Janet Street-Porter said that high standards of farming could produce high quality veal without compromising animal welfare, and Waitrose believes that was the spark for a 45% uplift in sales. Other than Sainsbury's, it is the only supermarket to offer veal that comes from calves that have been given bedding.

But figures from EBLEX suggest that even double-digit sales growth will not do much to boost the fortunes of calf producers, whose market effectively crumbled under the weight of objections to the live export trade in the mid-90s. Although more households bought the meat in the 52 weeks to 13 August [TNS], sales languished on £2m.

The MLC's Chris Lamb said: "In-home consumption isn't large, but it is growing. Some consumers are looking for new things and veal fits in perfectly."