HOW strong is supermarket support for Scotch lamb? That was the question being asked this week, as sales of Scotch lamb head towards peak season.

To try and find out, NFU Scotland members and staff are carrying out a shelf watch in Scottish supermarkets, to identify which retailers are doing their part to support Scottish sheep farmers. The results will be published on Wednesday, August 28.

Back in August 2018, the secret shoppers involved in the lamb shelf watch counted more than 2500 packs of Scotch lamb, identifying which of the big supermarkets were sourcing the most Scottish and home-produced lamb.

At that time, almost 45% of the lamb available on supermarket shelves was branded with the Scotch Lamb PGI label, with an additional 44% labelled as British or Welsh.

NFU Scotland’s livestock committee chairman Jimmy Ireland said: “We know from past shelf watch campaigns that Scottish shoppers are looking for clear labelling on all products, giving them the opportunity to seek out and support nutritious, Scotch lamb.

“We saw strong support for Scottish and UK lamb in August 2018, and we hope to find year on year improvement when our secret shoppers visit stores in the coming week," said Mr Ireland.

“With Brexit uncertainty hanging over the sheep sector, a clear sign that our retailers are getting behind Scotch lamb would give confidence to the sector as we head into the autumn sheep sales.

“Scottish farmers and crofters will continue to feed the nation, but we rely on the support of all actors across the supply chain to ensure that Scottish food can be found on Scottish shelves.”