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UK lamb production has risen while consumption falls, figures suggest

PUBLISHED: 06:00 08 September 2017

The 2017 National Sheep Association Young Ambassadors made up of 12 sheep farmers from across the country, including right, standing, Lisa Adams, from Barningham near Bury St Edmunds. Picture: HARPAL PANESER/AHDB.

The 2017 National Sheep Association Young Ambassadors made up of 12 sheep farmers from across the country, including right, standing, Lisa Adams, from Barningham near Bury St Edmunds. Picture: HARPAL PANESER/AHDB.

Harpal Paneser/AHDB

UK lamb production has increased, while New Zealand sheep meat imports have declined, figures show.

In first half of 2017, UK sheep meat production rose to 137,000 tonnes, while the volume of sheep meat imported from New Zealand reduced by almost 24% from the previous year.

Meanwhile UK consumers bought 108,000 tonnes of lamb to July 2017, 8,000 tonnes of which came from the East of England, according to Kantar Worldpanel data. The figures were published during Love Lamb Week, which ran from September 1 to 7 and was organised by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the National Sheep Association (NSA) and supported by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) to promote UK lamb. NSA chief Phil Stocker said: “The initial reaction on hearing that UK lamb exports are up and NZ volumes into the UK are down might be positive but this can only mean that domestic consumption of lamb has reduced overall.”

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