Mixed news for lamb producers

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There was both good and bad news for British lamb producers yesterday, with news that a major retailer is expanding its commitment to British lamb offset by the threatened closure of one of the largest abattoirs in the country.

A total of 800 sheep farmers in the Sainsbury’s Lamb Development Group will benefit from the supermarket’s commitment and from its promise to increase the price it pays to £3.80-£4.00 per kilo, up from £3.20 being paid at present.

But yesterday also saw the announcement of a 90-day consultation period on the possible closure of the Welsh Country Food’s lamb processing business on Anglesey where around about 350 people are employed.

This plant is part of the Vion meat processing business currently up for sale but the closure threat to the abattoir was triggered by the loss of a major contract to supply supermarket giant, Asda.