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Alberta Lamb Industry Presses For Increased Production

Alberta Lamb Producers has mounted a new campaign to increase lamb production in the province, aimed at filling a greater share of domestic demand with domestic supply.

The campaign, rolled out last month at the Alberta Sheep Symposium at Leduc, is aimed not only at bringing new producers into the industry, but also at enticing existing producers to expand their businesses and help meet consumer demand, ALP executive director Margaret Cook said in a release.

“Existing producers need to understand that having new producers enter the industry is not competition,” Cook said. “There is plenty of current and future market for everyone.”

There’s greater risk, she said, “in continuing to force retailers and consumers to buy (imported) lamb than in having higher production levels of lamb from more local producers.”

While lamb remains the “most profitable” of Alberta’s livestock industries, current lamb supplies meet only about half of the demand, ALP said. Stores and restaurants are thus forced to look outside Canada for product.

ALP over the past two years has conducted market research to gauge what was needed to grow the industry, and what the market was looking for in terms of end product, as well as a producer survey to determine their needs, the organization said Monday.

The new campaign is part of ALP’s resulting business plan. The campaign’s three themes, ALP said, will be “pride, recruitment and expansion.”

The campaign is to include materials such as brochures, direct mail, advertising and an industry video, on top of existing training materials.

“The campaign will also be extended to government and stakeholders to make them aware that the lamb industry is gearing up to the challenge of meeting market demand,” ALP said.

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