On the eve of the largest agricultural show in Europe, politicians and industry figures have welcomed the announcement that a major UK supermarket will be stocking Welsh Lamb at the butchery counters of 72 of its largest stores.
Premium PGI Welsh Lamb will be on sale at Asda counters across England and Wales instore from now through to the autumn. The supermarket’s announcement is a major boost to a sheep industry that contributes £267 million each year to Wales’s economy.
The Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM, met up with Asda UK Meat Counters Buyer Kelly Bainbridge in Wrexham today (Friday 21 July) to announce the news.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said:
“I am pleased Asda is going to stock premium Welsh Lamb at 72 of its largest stores throughout England and Wales. PGI Welsh lamb is an iconic, high quality product and I am sure it will prove popular with customers. This news will also come as a real boost to Wales’ red meat industry.”
Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) works with Asda and other UK retailers to promote PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef through consumer marketing and point-of-sale material.
“We very much welcome this new commitment from a leading British retailer to stock PGI Welsh Lamb as a premium offering,” said HCC Marketing Manager Rhys Llywelyn. “Its promotion at the butchery counters of 72 of the largest stores throughout England and Wales reinforces Welsh Lamb’s reputation as a high-quality product which the modern consumer wants.
“It’s great to see another UK supermarket expanding its range of Welsh red meat. This is a boost to our summer marketing campaign for PGI Welsh Lamb, which starts with ‘Llamb’s Day’ on August 1, and will include a range of promotional activity. This year we’re launching the Big Baa-BQ with online competitions in order to celebrate the versatility of lamb for the grill, and developing a smartphone-compatible recipe selector for consumers.
“As well as Asda, branded PGI Welsh Lamb is also available in Aldi, Co-op, J. Sainsbury, M&S, Morrisons, Tesco and Waitrose, as well as many independent retailers and at over 200 members of HCC’s Butchers’ Club,” he added.
NFU Cymru Livestock Board Chairman, Wyn Evans, said: “NFU Cymru welcomes this commitment by Asda to stock great tasting PGI Welsh Lamb on counters at 72 of its largest stores in England and Wales. This is a boost to Welsh Lamb producers at a time of great uncertainty in the industry.”
FUW Senior Policy Officer Dr Hazel Wright said: “The FUW has long urged supermarkets to commit to the procurement of Welsh and British lamb and beef, and to ensure prices paid by suppliers or through direct contracts recognise the high quality premium product produced.It is great news that Asda is joining a wide range of retailers who have already made a commitment to sourcing Welsh PGI lamb and beef.”