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case studies

Mature Lamb Study

The primary objective of this project, carried out on behalf of the North East Red Meat Industry Forum and One NorthEast, was to investigate the opportunity for a high quality mature lamb product as an added-value products for farmers in the North East region.

Our approach to achieving the project objectives was to break the work down into six descreet but connected segments and support the main consultancy work with a number of events designed to involve the main supply chain participants for lamb in the region.  These events included a supply chain meeting, a range of consumer awareness meetings and a final taste test event and 'cook-out' between chefs in the region. 

In addition we arranged for the project to be delivered over six months instead of the planned three months,  to allow us to support our findings with a practical pilot - buying, finishing, slaughtering and testing product from up to 100 animals.

Our six main segments of the consultancy work covered:-

Market - the potential market, the required specification, supply chains and supply chain development;

Contracts - managing the extended relationship between distant farming enterprises;

Logistics - managing the collection, transport, distribution of livestock through various phases to slaughter including necessary regulation;

Quality Assurance - managing the supply chain to provide necessary traceability, securing regional identification, finishing and post slaughter treatment;

Finished Product - the opportunities presented by various post-slaughter treatments and feedback provided by experienced chefs and discerning consumers;

SWOT Analysis - the analysis in this report not only provides an opportunity to consider threats such as public perception and diseases such as Scrapie but also a platform to review each of the previous five stages. 

Next steps ....... in our view nothing beats practical experience, getting out there with product and trying out different routes to market.  This was the major benefit of our pilot work in that we were able to actually test different supply chains and gather real time feedback on what end consumers want.

It is important to trial the potential of this product from scratch, which means testing the entire system for wether hill lambs from birth to final product and this could take place during 2007/08.

This would suit a small group of willing farmers who could work together over the next 12 - 18 months, making the most of the contact already established as part of this work and the practical pilot.  It is evident that this can work, as latent demand has already been identified through the supply chains explored by the project.

(With grateful thanks to all who contributed to this study).  

A copy of the study final report is available from our download section. 



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