SUPERMARKET chain Waitrose has committed to sourcing all its lamb from UK producers by 2021.

Waitrose already offers a percentage of British lamb on its fresh meat counters and British organic lamb throughout the year, but will now move towards 100% local sourcing. The National Sheep Association cheered the move, which will apply to both fresh and frozen lamb, and be adhered to '365 days a year'.

NSA chief executive Phil Stocker said: “NSA welcomes this commitment made by Waitrose and sees it as a strong statement of support to British sheep farming. The world is changing rapidly and within this, we are seeing trade dynamics change too.

“Our New Zealand counterparts will see this as an unfavourable move but there is no denying that the sustainability agenda is driving a change in attitude, with many nations seeking to protect their own interests and to localise trade where it makes sense," said Mr Stocker.

"We have been saying for a long time that Britain has the climate, the topography, and the sheep farming systems to be able to supply high-quality lamb throughout the year and the NSA is keen to work with any supply chains that want to establish long term economically, environmentally, and ethically sustainable sourcing arrangements.”