The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) announced it is partnering with Interbev to deliver the “Let’s Change Lamb” campaign in Hauts-de-France.

The campaign aims to upskill butchers and focus on smaller cuts to “drive demand” among younger French consumers. It will provide the AHDB team in France with the ideal platform to further promote English lamb.

Events will be held in the region over the next year, including seminars on how to maximise carcase value and adopting innovative merchandising techniques, as well as education on seam butchery to help improve yield.

AHDB and Interbev will have a stand promoting the campaign at the Terres en Fetes show, which is due to take place on Friday, June, 7 to Sunday, June 9.

It is the first agricultural show to take place north of Paris and is expected to attract more than 500 exhibitors and nearly 85,000 visitors. It aims to enable AHDB to reach most buyers and butchers in the region.

France is the UK’s largest market for lamb. In 2023, exports of sheep meat from the UK increased by 23% in value on the year (to £292m) and 23% in volume (to 45,000 t).

Around 50 butchers in Hauts-de-France sell St George-branded English lamb, a region which is also home to some major importers of English lamb.

AHDB France marketing and communication manager, Lucille Brillaud, said:

“France imports more than 50% of lamb consumed in the country. It is also the UK’s biggest export market for lamb. The UK is, therefore, a critical supplier to the French market.

“However, 77% of lamb consumed in France is eaten by the over 50s, which is why “Let’s Change Lamb” is important in repositioning it to help unlock demand among younger consumers.”

She added that meat consumption in Hauts-de-France is strong and AHDB hope it will drive demand for English lamb, however, butchers may need to change the cuts they are offering to align with meal solutions for modern tastes.