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Tesco to trial new production model for lamb

8 February 2016  •  Author(s): Victoria White

Tesco is inviting 100 British sheep farmers from across its supply base to take part in a trial of an industry first, cost of production model for lamb.


If successful, the model could help address some of the volatility in the UK lamb market.

Data will be collected over a 12 month period to help the retailer assess the cost of production across a variety of production systems. Independent sheep consultants will select farmers who will form the core trial group and will also collate and evaluate the data. Successful applicants will be chosen based on seasonality, production type, geographic location, and farm size. 

Farmers are required to meet the following criteria in order to be considered for the trial:

  • Farm Assured
  • 100% of finished lambs currently sold through processor/market for duration of trial
  • Monthly predicted volume must be supplied (+/- 20%)
  • Open book system with independent consultants
  • Minimum 100 lambs
  • All lambs must be born, reared and finished on the farm of origin

During the course of the 12 month trial, farmers will be paid a price based on historic industry cost of production data.

Tesco will also look to help foster and mentor fresh farming talent, with provision being made to ensure that at least 25% of the group will represent young farmers who are under the age of 35.

Tesco lamb farmers interested in applying for the trial must submit applications by the end of Thursday 25th February 2016.

Commenting on the announcement, Tesco Commercial Director for Fresh Food, Matt Simister said: “Tesco has a long history of supporting UK agriculture and we recognise the quality, expertise and commitment of British lamb farmers to provide the best possible produce for customers. We work hard to have an open and transparent dialogue with all of our farmers and producers of British lamb, as well as the wider farming community, so that together we can deliver a truly sustainable farming industry.”

Tesco has said it will continue to look at a range of opportunities to improve supply chain efficiencies across the lamb industry, to maximise productivity and help British lamb producers manage their risks more effectively. 

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