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Welsh lamb now boasts an average shelf life of 39.2 days, an increase of 7% since last year. This boost followed a 10% to the average shelf life the previous year.

HCC industry development and relations manager John Richards said the increase in shelf life would increase opportunities to export Welsh Lamb to new and developing markets across the globe.

Consistent supply

“It will also benefit domestic customers, allowing Welsh Lamb to be consistently available to consumers all year round,”​ he added.

“HCC has long worked to improve the shelf life of Welsh Lamb, offering livestock selection training events to producers and sharing information about best practice across the industry. It has also formed the basis of several industry projects we have carried out over the last few years.”

A longer shelf life means that Welsh Lamb can be exported more sustainably by sea rather than by air freight and that it can reach new, further afield markets.

Lamb sales

In January, Kantar reported sales of Welsh lamb rose above pre-pandemic levels in 2021, thanks to a strong Christmas.

While the overall volume of lam sales was 3% down in 2021 compared with 2020 at 63,350 tonnes, sales were still higher than pre-pandemic levels – sales in 2021 were up 2.4% compared to 2019.

Leg roasting joints proved to be the most popular cut among consumers this Christmas, with the volume up 1.2% from 2020 and 6% higher the 2019.  

In total, British consumers spent £662.5m on lamb in 2021, 1.5% more than the previous year and a whopping 12.6% more than 2019.