UK retailer Sainsbury’s has announced that as of this Saturday, July 1, it is only stocking 100% British lamb in its stores.

The news of this move was announced in May, but only comes into effect from July onwards. Sainsbury’s said it will offer customers “quality, tender lamb” throughout the 2017 season in addition to reaffirming its support for the UK lamb industry.

Sainsbury’s is reportedly the second largest supermarket chain in the UK after Tesco, with a 16% share of the market.

A network of nearly 1,000 British farmers – the Sainsbury’s Lamb Development Group – will supply the lamb from July onwards to supermarkets around the UK.

Worrying trend for exporters

Following on from Brexit, such ‘British-only’ announcements could increase – due to the possibility of incoming tariffs and beefier customs regulations – something which Irish exporters will have to further prepare for in the near future.

Also Read: Irish optimism for UK market, despite beef and cheddar risk – Bord Bia

Sainsbury’s move comes in the wake of calls made in recent months by UK outlets for more ‘British-only’ support – not just for lamb but for all meat products.

One such outlet is British chain, the Co-op – which back in May singled out Ireland as the country benefiting the most from UK meat trade with the EU.

The Co-op, in a statement at the time, called on more supermarkets and food-service providers to back UK-produced goods.

In March, Phil Stocker, Chief Executive of the National Sheep Association (NSA) in the UK, accused retailers of “talking up their support for British farmers whilst importing foreign meat”.

While another prominent English supermarket chain, Morrisons, launched a campaign to recruit 200 British suppliers, after it called on the UK to be more self-sufficient in February.