West Country Lamb hits Italian supermarkets

West Country Lamb bearing the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) banner has made a breakthrough in the Italian market.

The lamb range, including leg, loin and shoulder products, has been listed by the SMA retail group in Italy which has 200 stores trading under the Simply fascia.

It represents the first foreign listing for West Country Lamb under the PGI, which was secured in 2014 after years of work carried out behind the scenes by Meat South West (MSW) and other organisations.

To meet the criteria for West Country PGI status, beef and lamb must be at least 70 per cent forage fed and come from stock born, raised and finished in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Dorset or Wiltshire.

Ed Green, chairman of MSW, said: “This is an important breakthrough for West Country producers and processors. The support of AHDB Beef & Lamb during months of negotiations to get to this point has been immeasurable and we are delighted with the outcome.

“The Italian market is tough for expensive proteins such as beef and lamb. However, it still rewards quality and the great taste of West Country Lamb has been a deciding factor in securing this breakthrough.

“We are confident that West Country Lamb will be a huge success in the Italian market and will establish a platform on which we can build as interest in our products gathers momentum.”

MSW is a strategic advisory body which liaises with the industry and government on the priorities and needs of a profitable and productive regional meat and livestock sector. The board represents the whole supply chain, from farm to fork, and is committed to the success of the sector.