Canada’s lamb producers are missing out on a $42-million opportunity in farm gate sales and $250 million at retail, due to lack of domestic supply and “ineffective management” of the lamb value chain, according to a new study by the Guelphbased Value Chain Management Centre.
The study, released July 22, noted a 100 per cent increase in the Canadian lamb market between 1997 and 2008, during which time domestic lamb production rose only 30 per cent. In short, “an overall lack of supply severely limits the market opportunities for Canadian lamb,” the study said.
And many Canadian lamb producers “do not adequately consider market or customer requirements when determining the flock’s genetics or production systems,” study author Martin Gooch wrote. “This is largely due to lack of information and capabilities necessary to make informed management decisions.”
The value chain today leads to revenue-limiting inconsistency in condition, size, quality and overall composition of Canadian lambs in the system, Gooch wrote. Live U. S. lambs are often more consistent in size and meat quality while processed lamb from New Zealand and Australia is more consistent in quality.