Positive Consumption Figures For Lamb ? IFA

With the new lamb season about to commence, IFA National Sheep Committee
Chairman James Murphy said the latest consumption figures for lamb in the
Irish market are very positive, with the Kantar Worldpanel data showing an
increase for 2012. ?For the 12-week period ending March 20th household
purchases of lamb totalled 2,257 tonnes, representing a 15.7% increase on
2011.?

James Murphy said this good news comes on top of positive figures for all
of last year, which shows a 4% growth in lamb consumption for the 52 weeks
to March 20th 2012.

The IFA sheep farmers? leader said some of the key growth factors in the
Irish market are strong promotional activity of lamb by all of the major
Irish retailers; a quality product; constant product innovation; and a
vigorous campaign by Bord Bia, including TV and in-store activity. He said
the Irish figures are in contrast to some other European markets where lamb
consumption has come under pressure.

James Murphy said the very high quality of lamb and its unique natural meat
image, together with the positive work of celebrity chefs, has contributed
significantly to increasing consumer awareness of the value, quality and
convenience of lamb.

He pointed out that the average retail price of lamb has increased by only
2.8% over the last 12 months to ?10.58/kg. He said at farm level, lamb
prices have increased by 8% in the same period. A very strong trade in lamb
skins and offal has helped to prevent the full farm gate price rise being
passed back to consumers.

The IFA sheep farmers? leader said to drive growth and continue to rebuild
confidence at farm level, it is very important that lamb prices to farmers
are maintained at 2011 levels. He said factory pressure on prices in the
last week were excessive and negative. ?Strong lamb prices are the key to
re-growing the sector at farm level and achieving the growth target set out
for the sector in the Food Harvest 2020 Plan.?

Note on Irish Sheep Meat Sector

There are 30,000 sheep farmers with 2.2m ewes in Ireland. Total
slaughterings are about 2.4m per annum with a total output value of ?260m.
70% of production or over 40,000t are exported to over 24 markets. France
and the UK account for over 76% of exports. Growing export markets include
Germany, Sweden, Belgium and the UK.

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