Learning about lamb consumers

Sheep Producers Flock to Farmers Evening. Specialist Farmers Evening targets Liver Fluke control, Lamb selection and Consumer needs at Middleton in Teesdale Mart.
Sheep Producers Flock to Farmers Evening. Specialist Farmers Evening targets Liver Fluke control, Lamb selection and Consumer needs at Middleton in Teesdale Mart.

More than 80 North East farmers turned out at an event to learn more about the current lamb market.

The Farmers’ Evening was organised by H and H Land and Property, alongside AHDB Beef and Lamb, at Middleton in Teesdale Mart.

The aim of the event was to keep farmers up-to-date with industry issues that may be affecting the profitability of their enterprise.

The evening kicked off with a talk on market requirements, specifications and hands-on selection of lamb by Steve Powdrill, of AHDB Beef and Lamb.

Encouraging people to have a better understanding of the end user, Steve gave details on what consumer trends are indicating, with people preferring lambs graded R3L, with not much fat.

Whilst farmers are potentially increasing expenses unnecessarily as feed conversion is much less efficient when animals are laying down fat, Steve advised that consumer habits are changing. The average cooking time is now only 30 minutes, with just an average of two people sitting round the dinner table. Consumers are therefore looking for smaller cuts, known as a ‘mini roast’.

He said: “In practice, lambs should be drawn earlier to meet consumer needs. It is important to know when they are ready to sell so that the consumer is getting the best lamb. This is especially significant as chicken is the biggest meat competitor at the moment.”