Major UK retailer Waitrose has announced plans to source all of its own-label fresh and frozen lamb from British lamb producers.

Waitrose will aim to complete the move to 100% British sourced across all fresh and frozen own-label lamb by the summer of 2021, with all of its organic lamb already 100% UK sourced.

All of the supermarket’s fresh chicken, pork, beef, eggs and liquid milk is already sourced exclusively from the UK.

Having previously sourced some of its lamb from New Zealand during the winter months, the move will see Waitrose extend its commitment to UK lamb producers as it focuses its investment on the future of British agriculture.

The supermarket now hopes to increase sales from its existing lamb producers and by welcoming new ones into its supply chain.

Tor Harris, head of corporate social responsibility, health and agriculture at Waitrose & Partners, said: “We have always offered British Lamb on our service counters all-year-round and we are delighted to be able to extend that strategy to the pre-pack lamb assortment.

“Waitrose & Partners is renowned for its range of quality lamb products - something we over-trade in compared to our market share.

"Although we are already in a great position, we are constantly looking at ways to innovate our product and are actively looking to partner with new lamb producers around Britain to ensure we continue to offer great-tasting, high-quality lamb all year round.”

NFU Cymru Livestock Board chairman Wyn Evans said: “We thoroughly welcome Waitrose’s commitment to stock 100% Welsh and British lamb from 2021.

This comes at a time of great uncertainty for the sheep sector, so today’s news that Waitrose will be moving to a year-round supply of Farm Assured quality Welsh and British lamb is a welcome boost.

“This is a really positive move from one of the major buyers of lamb in the UK which highlights that there is a strong appetite amongst consumers for Welsh and British lamb products."