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.
Notes to editors