Invercargill-based meat processor and exporter, Alliance
Group, has secured an exclusive deal to supply chilled New
Zealand lamb to British retail giant Marks & Spencer.
Alliance, which is the world's largest processor and exporter
of sheepmeat, will be the sole supplier of chilled New
Zealand lamb to Marks & Spencer from this Christmas,
sourcing lambs from approved farms across the South Island
for processing at the company's Lorneville (Invercargill),
Pukeuri (Oamaru) and Smithfield (Timaru) plants.
The supply arrangement is the first time Marks & Spencer
has agreed to an exclusive deal for chilled lamb from a
single New Zealand supplier, Alliance said.
Marks & Spencer supplies a wide range of lamb products to
its UK customers, with its fresh lamb offer featuring a full
selection of bone-in and boneless cuts.
Murray Brown, general manager marketing at Alliance Group,
said the contract marks a major milestone in Alliance Group's
20-year relationship with Marks & Spencer.
"As they have a loyal customer base for lamb, coupled with
the fact that our chilled lamb programme runs
counter-cyclical to the UK domestic supply season, we're very
excited about the growth opportunities it offers for everyone
involved," he said in a statement.
Steve McLean, head of agriculture & fisheries sourcing at
Marks & Spencer, said the company wanted to strengthen
its links with its producers.
All Alliance products supplied to Marks & Spencer will be
sourced from registered "M&S Select" farms so that the
cooperative can trace lambs back to their farm of origin.
The M&S Select Farm scheme sees supplying farmers
registered on a traceability management system launched by
Marks & Spencer in 2009.
The programme, which includes lamb suppliers from both New
Zealand and the United Kingdom, features a database that
monitors farm-management, animal origin and livestock
Marks & Spencer is one of the UK'S leading retailers with
more than 21 million customers every week. The company
employs over 78,000 people in the United Kingdom and abroad.
Alliance Group is a co-operative owned by about 5,000 farmer