Tesco has formerly signed a two year contracts with over 200 lamb farmers as part of its long-term commitment to British agriculture.
In an official press release, Tesco said the contracts follow a similar one offered to beef farmers in December.
Tesco said the contracts include a premium above market price for lamb, "with all farmers forming part of the Tesco Sustainable Lamb Group, which aims to develop and strengthen Tesco’s relationship with its farm suppliers."
Tesco said that under the contract, "Lambs will be born and reared on farms that form part of the Red Tractor Farm Assurance Scheme, which ensures high welfare and production standards.
The grocery giant said the 200 farms will help supply its stores with lamb for its finest* range, between April and December, "when British lamb is best in season."
Tesco said working with St Merryn, it will look to extend the contract offer to more lamb farmers in the coming months.
Farmers from across the UK have already signed up to the scheme, Tesco announced today.
Talk of the contacts, Tesco's Commercial Director of Fresh Foods, Richard Marris, said:
“The uptake of the contracts so far shows that sheep farmers are keen to work with us in building stronger, closer relationships between Tesco and British agriculture."
Adding.."We recognise this is one measure of progress, but we’re excited to be working together with farmers to bring quality, fresh food from British farms to our customers. We hope these contracts will play an important part in giving sheep farmers the confidence they need to invest and plan for the future.”
Responding to the development, John Maynard, one of the potential beneficiary farm owners from Devon said:
“It is very encouraging that Tesco are making long term commitments to lamb producers. Knowing I will be getting a premium for my lambs gives me an extra incentive to invest in my flock and continue to produce top quality finest* lamb from the South West.”
The contracts represent the first time a major UK retailer has offered formal, two year direct contracts with lamb producers.
* Twitter: @bensonagoha.
* Twitter: @woolwichonline.