THE first ever NFU and NSA 'Vision for British Lamb Production' report has been launched at the NSA Sheep Event, identifying the current position of UK lamb production and the steps needed to make the most of its future.
The report highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the sector as it stands and identifies the opportunities ahead and barriers that must be tackled in order to exploit them.
It will be used to frame and guide NFU and NSA activities and inform and convince policy and decision makers of the potential the sheep sector offers and what they can do to clear a pathway for its continued success.
Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive, said: "For the first time we have pooled our resources to produce a clear, consistent message about where the industry should be going. The report provides a framework to keep us focused on our main goal, which is to help sheep producers make the most of opportunities that will strengthen their businesses in times ahead."
The report emphasises the need for the industry to react to market signals, to maintain and expand export options for producers ,as well as building on the current domestic market for sheep meat.
"With the growth of sheep meat exports predicted to continue, and annual per capita consumption running at just 1.7kgs even a slight increase would have a significant impact on demand.
Charles Sercombe, NFU livestock board chairman, says: "The sheep industry in this country has a bright future and is well placed to address the challenges of global markets and to take the opportunities that are presenting themselves. The vision for lamb production, launched at the Sheep Event sets out this positive vision and identifies areas we need to tackle to achieve it.
"A successful industry is one with a ruthless focus on supplying the market with the product it needs as efficiently as possible.
"This will involve long-term partnerships across the supply chain to identify and clearly communicate customer requirements. It will need appropriate marketing of our product on its inherent values, including great eating quality, high welfare and sustainable environmental management. Finally, Government must actively tackle legislative barriers which reduce competitiveness and our ability to efficiently supply markets across the world."