10 Feb 2011

British supermarket wants more sustainable lamb production

7:36 am on 10 February 2011

A leading British retailer wants to work with New Zealand's lamb suppliers to make production more sustainable.

Representatives from Marks and Spencer, which has more than 700 stores in the UK, are in New Zealand this week meeting producers and processors who supply lamb to their business.

Marks and Spencer agriculture manager Steve McLean says the company wants production to be more sustainable and he thinks that is achievable through using best practice in reproductive technologies, animal welfare, and farming systems.

Mr McLean says British consumers value New Zealand lamb and the company wants to build on that reputation and improve quality in the supply chain.

Crown Research Institute Agresearch has also been talking to the Marks and Spencer representatives.

Agresearch general manager of applied biotechnologies Dr Jimmy Suttie believes science is the key to making lamb supply more sustainable.

Dr Suttie says he expects further visits from overseas retailers as consumers focus more on the sustainability of food.