Sainsbury’s reinforces commitment to British farming with payment promise for Lamb farmers

Sainsbury's Lamb Farmer

Sainsbury’s Chief Executive Justin King announced today that British lamb farmers affected by the adverse weather would receive significantly more than the current market price through the Lamb Development Group (SLDG).

He also called on more Welsh suppliers to come forward with business opportunities, so that the retailer could source and sell more Welsh products. Mr King made the comments today during a visit to the new Pontypridd Sainsbury’s store with Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones.

Many farmers across the UK have been affected by the recent wet weather, with farmers struggling to raise lambs to the ideal weight at the right time of the season. Following the announcement, the price will increase to £3.80/kg, setting it at least 60p/kg above the market. This is funded by Sainsbury’s and will be paid to 800 sheep farmers that make up the SLDG until the end of February. Supply from the group goes into by Sainsbury’s and Taste the Difference lamb sold on our meat counter and in the aisle.

Sainsbury’s Chief Executive Justin King said: "We’re passionate about sourcing British products and we’re very proud of what has been achieved through our farming Development Groups over the last five years. Because of the close relationship we have built with our farmers we can react quickly to the volatile market conditions, which is why we have announced a new price for our lamb farmers today.

"Customers trust us to do the right thing to help them Live Well for Less which is where our values set us apart. We always maintain high social, ethical and environmental standards in everything we do – that includes investing in the farmers that we work with. Our customers also want to buy high quality, fresh British food which is why we have committed to double the amount of British food we sell by 2020.

"One of our key values is to source with integrity and offer the best produce from local producers, so working with more local farmers and suppliers is also paramount to our growth."

On the visit to the Pontypridd store, Justin King also highlighted that the retailer currently sources at least £40 million worth of products from Wales ranging from Lamb to Welsh cakes for sale in its Welsh stores, but would like to sign more.

The First Minister added: "Sainsbury’s is a large-scale employer in Wales and it is good to welcome Justin to the country so we can talk about continued investment. We are interested in exploring further opportunities for the business to base operations here in Wales. His  call for more Welsh farmers and suppliers to come forward and work with the company is one we can all welcome."

Sainsbury’s, which employs over 3,500 people across its 27 stores in Wales, also confirmed earlier this week that 117 people employed on a temporary contract to help over Christmas in Wales are now permanent colleagues.

Justin King and Carwyn Jones at Ponty Pridd store

Notes to editors

  • The current market price is £3.20/kg. Sainsbury’s is committing to offer a minimum of £3.80/kg and maximum of £4.00/kg throughout January and February 2013
  • Last month Sainsbury’s gave out £1.2 million through the Development Grant to drive the future of British farming through research and development projects
  • There are now approximately 70 suppliers through the Welsh YFC (Young Farmers Club). All farmers are aged between 16 and 40 and breed lambs all year, working closely with Sainsbury’s agriculture specialists to offer the perfect product for customers.  Part of the scheme offers in-depth training about the end-to-end process of meat production, and to develop an understanding of the role they play in the supply chain
  • Sainsbury's has supported British farming for 143 years and we continue to work collaboratively for the best solutions on price, animal welfare and carbon efficiencies
  • Sainsbury's has ten dedicated agricultural Development Groups with Dairy being the first and most established having been set up in 2007 and currently with 321 farmers
  • Sainsbury's has invested over £30 million since 2006 in its ten dedicated Farmer Development Groups across key agricultural categories
  • From 1 January 2013 Sainsbury's is increasing the price paid to British dairy farmers through the sustainable Cost of Production model – the standard litre price will rise to 31.59ppl. In May 2012 Sainsbury's Dairy Development Group famers voted in the sustainable cost of production model which pays a fair price while offering a bonus for animal welfare and environmental responsibility.
  • Sainsbury's is the UK's largest retailer of RSPCA Freedom Foods products selling 60% of all produced with over 300 lines.
  • Sainsbury's recently topped both the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and the FTSE4Good as the world's leading food retailer sustainability. It was also named Sustainable Retailer of the Year at the Retail Industry Awards.



About the article

  • Posted on: 11 January 2013
  • Type of article: Press release