Scottish supporters of the Beltex breed of sheep have been given a boost with a new export scheme offering them a marketing premium of up to 30p per kilo.
The deal will see farmer-owned lamb marketing co-operative, Farm Stock (Scotland)- procure the lambs for Dunbia who will process them in their abattoir in Preston before heading off to premium markets in Belgium and France.
Dunbia’s export sales manager, Michael Dundon, described the market for the lambs at being “at the quality end with butchers and chefs trading with more affluent customers who will remain less affected by the economic downturn”.
He admitted that European economic conditions were currently impacting on demand for lamb this season, in particular from the middle end of the consumer bracket.
“However I am confident that Beltex cross lambs will be able to defend themselves better than ordinary standard lamb,” he said.
Maimie Paterson, the chairman of the Beltex breed society, said it was an excellent deal for producers as they would receive more money, and it was an excellent marketing strategy for the society.
She added: “We are confident that it will reward those using a registered Beltex ram to achieve the premium lambs required by a very specific and expanding high quality market, particularly at a time when lamb prices, in general, are coming under pressure.”
She hoped the deal would not only receive a positive response from existing Beltex producers but it would also encourage other commercial producers to make a first time purchase of a registered Beltex.
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