Lamb producers in Wales are under pressure due to low farmgate prices.
The average sheep farmer is currently receiving about 20 per cent less for their new season lambs than they were a year ago.
Hybu Cig Cymru understands the frustrations felt by farmers and is taking action to encourage more British shoppers to eat Welsh Lamb by launching our advertising campaign two months earlier than normal, stretching from July into December.
HCC is also in constant talks all year round with the major supermarket chains regarding their red meat purchasing policies.
There are a number of reasons for the fall in lamb prices, which include:
- A strong pound. This means that imports into Britain cost less for UK companies, while exports from Britain cost more for our overseas customers.
- An extended New Zealand lamb season. Traditionally, the New Zealand and Welsh Lamb seasons complimented each other, so that when one was out of season the other was available to fill the gap and maintain demand for lamb among consumers.
- Due to the New Zealand season encroaching significantly on the British lamb season, it has competed with – rather than complimented – home grown lamb.
- A kind spring has led to a good lambing season, increasing the number on farms with many lambs finishing earlier.
- Trading conditions for skins are difficult, not helped by the strong pound which has caused a significant fall in their value.
While many of these factors are outside HCC’s control, we have already taken steps to encourage supermarkets to stock more Welsh Lamb and for consumers to buy it.
One of more than 150 Welsh Lamb posters at locations across Britain now
To stimulate demand among British consumers, HCC has significantly extended its advertising campaign for Welsh Lamb by an additional two months to include July and August.
HCC’s marketing campaign includes:
- A UK promotion focusing on the versatility of Welsh Lamb for barbecues, tying in with summer festivals and general outdoor eating. This campaign started in mid July.
- Large posters strategically placed in 150 locations near major supermarkets in towns and cities across Britain.
- Digital online advertising and social media including Facebook and Twitter targeted at specific audiences and key geographical areas in an effort to maximise sales.
- A new television advertisement is being shot which will go on air in September. A recent Welsh Lamb TV advert can be seen here .
- On-pack promotions; including a competition offering a top prize of a dream holiday.
- A Welsh Lamb roadshow visiting supermarkets across the country.
- An autumn promotion focussing on warmer recipes for longer nights.
Samples of the extensive publicity received by HCC for Welsh Lamb in the national press on TV and radio and in social media during this years Royal Welsh Show
In addition to this activity, HCC works constantly with supermarkets and High Street independents to create more shelf space for Welsh Lamb.
HCC has a Butchers Club, which only includes butchers who can prove they are selling PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef.
HCC has a Welsh Lamb Club which includes leading British chefs who act as ambassadors to promote the eating quality and versatility of Welsh Lamb.
HCC is also working with the foodservice sector – hotels, restaurants, cafes and public – as well as public procurement bodies who source meat for schools and hospitals in an effort to maximise opportunities for Welsh Lamb.
Details of both the HCC Butchers Club and HCC’s Welsh Lamb Club can be found on HCC’s consumer facing website – www.eatwelshlambandwelshbeef.com – which also includes hundreds of recipe ideas and valuable information for shoppers.
Examples of recipe booklets for consumers and factsheets for retailers produced by HCC to promote Welsh Lamb
Details of HCC’s wide range of work, including our efforts to increase Welsh Lamb exports from its current level of £160 million a year is also contained in the annual Bulletin, which has been distributed to every farmer in Wales.
Taken together, this is a powerful promotional campaign which aims to increase consumer awareness - and therefore the purchasing - of high quality Welsh Lamb.
Examples of HCC's online digital advertising campaign, above, while below are some of our print advertisements for Welsh Lamb