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    Cotswold Lamb Launch in Sainsbury’s
22/05/07

Farmers in the Three Counties region are set to benefit from a unique partnership between Andover based Randall Parker Foods and the English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX), as prime Cotswold spring lamb begins to appear on shelf in Sainsbury stores in the Midlands and North West of England from next month.

Host farmer Henry Dunn and Joanne Brown of Randall Parker foods with some Cotswold spring lamb.
©
 Antony Thompson Photography

cotswold lamb

Reared on family farms from the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire to the Malverns in Worcestershire, the succulent, tender lamb, which conforms to the quality specifications of the English Beef and Lamb Executive’s (EBLEX) Quality Standard scheme, will be supplied to Sainsbury’s by Randall Parker Foods, market leaders in the production of quality meat products.

Keen to showcase their new lamb brand, Randall Parker Foods recently attended the National Sheep Association (NSA)’s Marches region Open Day at Henry Dunn’s farm in Upleadon Court, Newent. Samples and leaflets featuring information on the new brand and the EBLEX Quality Standard scheme were handed out to many of the 400 farmers in attendance.

Henry Dunn and Randall Parker Foods have a unique relationship dating back to 2001 when, following the closure of Gloucester market, Henry and his business partner Mike Credland set up the May Hill Producer Group, in order to supply Randall Parker Foods with Gloucestershire lamb.

The group, which has its own collection centre at Henry’s farm, now has around 35 farmers regularly using the scheme.

Henry explains: “The May Hill Lamb Producer Group was formed to provide an efficient, low-cost marketing solution for producers with high animal welfare standards. The scheme is run on an entirely non-profit making basis by our farmer members who put through about 700 lambs a week in spring, as well as hoggets and cull ewes.

“The essence of the scheme is about profitability and quality so we encourage members to concentrate on flock health, feeding and breeding to ensure the best possible returns for them and an excellent quality product for their customers.”

Randall Parker Foods prides itself on being a market leader in the production of quality meat products. With a reputation built on years of experience and a commitment to providing only the best to customers, the company maintains its leading position by ensuring high standards and quality livestock, investing in technology, people and training, together with a thorough understanding of the market.

Juliet Davies, director, Randall Parker Foods, comments: “We worked closely with May Hill and with EBLEX to develop prime spring Cotswold lamb to Sainsbury’s exacting specifications and we are confident that it will be a strong seller. We certainly had some excellent feedback from visitors at the NSA Open Day.

“As well as giving us the opportunity to showcase our lamb, we also wanted to tell farmers at the event about our partnership with the May Hill Lamb Producer Group as it is clearly beneficial for all parties involved and a good way for farmers to maximise the return on their products. I certainly feel that we have given quite a few farmers some food for thought by attending the open day.

“The development of this collaborative supply chain which will eventually cover the whole of the UK demonstrates that communication between producers, processor, and retailer benefits all involved. This initiative will lead to continued sustainability of sheep farming and the traditional agricultural way of life in the areas concerned.”

Cotswold Lamb is part of Randall Parker Foods’ Traditional range, which also includes West Country, Downland, Moorland and Anglian Lamb. These parts of England were identified as areas where traditional ways of farming were still employed (in the main the sheep are reared extensively on open pastures, park land and upland moors where they graze for most of the year). The range consists of 12 popular cuts produced using traditional butchery techniques which are then further matured for up to 15 days to ensure maximum flavour and tenderness.

To find out more about prime spring Cotswold Lamb from Randall Parker Foods, please call the sales team on 01264 773545.

Further information on the EBLEX Quality Standard scheme is available from the scheme hotline on 0800 781 4221.

Prime Cotswold Spring Lamb will be on sale in 88 Sainsbury’s stores from June 2007.

link English Lambs Improve in Carcase Quality
link English Beef Carcase Quality Improvement
link Longtown Primestock Sale

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