October 13, 2003
UK Invests Multi-Million Pound to Promote Lamb, Beef
A multi-million pound scheme to promote English lamb and beef will be launched next year in a bid to boost market share and increase home-grown supplies.
The English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX), which took over promotional activities from the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) in April, will release details of the plan early in the new year.
It expects to launch an English quality meat brand next autumn.
Rather than continuing the MLC's mantra of increasing meat consumption, EBLEX intends to maximise English beef and lamb's share of the existing market, displacing imported product and taking on Welsh and Scottish brands.
Details remain vague, but David Raine, EBLEX acting chairman, said: "We want it to be as inclusive a brand as possible."
It will encompass a range of price bands and potential consumers, promoted at a national and local level.
"Particularly important will be small and medium-sized abattoirs working on local supply, with an emphasis on quality," said Mr Raine.
EBLEX is also carrying out detailed research with retailers and bigger processors. Mr Raine hoped one or two major multiples would take up the brand when launched, and that others would follow.
He expected the scheme to account for a significant share of the 5.5m sterling pound/year from levy-paying farmers earmarked for promotional activities.