This lamb comes from a small group of farmers in the south and south-west of England, where the milder climate gives a longer grass growing season. English lamb is available all year round from the service counter.
Available in season from June to December, our prepacked Welsh lamb is reared on known and trusted farms in Wales, where we have been working with our Welsh lamb farmers over many years. Top quality lamb depends on rich grass which is abundant in the Welsh climate, making lamb one of the great traditional foods of Wales.
Organic Welsh lamb
This is lamb reared on a select group of around 50 farms registered to the UK Organic certification bodies. It's available prepacked in selected branches from late spring to early winter.
West Country lamb
This comes from a small group of farmers in the English West Country, where the milder climate gives a longer grass growing season. West Country lamb is available all year from the service counter in selected West Country and London branches.
Dorset Breed lamb
Dorset Breed lamb, from Dorset Breed ewes and/or rams, is exclusive to Waitrose. Like many other traditional English breeds of sheep it takes its name from its native county but, unlike most other breeds, the lambs are born throughout the year. Waitrose Dorset Breed lambs are born in autumn, so they provide the first 'new season' British lamb of the year. The Dorset Breed farmers stretch across the South and South West of England (not just Dorset county!). Known for its rich flavour, the meat is available from the service counter in selected branches from February to June.
New Zealand lamb
New Zealand's contrasting season to the UK make a perfect fit with the UK lamb season. Waitrose has been working with a group of more than 250 farmers in New Zealand for a number of years, to supply lamb that is produced to the same high standards of welfare and care as our UK lamb. Internationally famous for its tenderness and sweet flavour, Waitrose New Zealand lamb is available prepacked, from December (when the UK season is tailing off) to Early June.
Frozen New Zealand lamb
Produced to set farm assurance standards. The meat is matured for tenderness, and then quickly frozen to lock in the flavour. It's available all year round in our frozen cabinets.
Lamb is a seasonal meat so to guarantee that our lamb is 'best in season', we work with dedicated groups of carefully selected farmers in the UK and New Zealand. This means we can offer the best tasting lamb all year round. Many of our farmers have been supplying us for more than 10 years, so they understand and share our values and commitment to achieving the highest standards of quality, food safety and animal welfare. Waitrose rewards these farmers with prices above market rates. This long-term commitment gives farmers the financial security they need to invest in sustainable farming methods that benefit the environment and encourage wildlife.
The lamb is reared on open pastures, with shelter for harsh weather, on a natural forage diet, supplemented with hay or root crops when grass is in short supply. We can trace all our lamb back to the group of farms where it was reared. The meat is carefully matured on the bone to further enhance the tenderness and flavour, then hand-cut by skilled butchers, using traditional butchery methods.
Meet the farmer
Edward Giffith raises some of our early season Welsh lamb on the beautiful Llyn Peninsula. Supplying Waitrose has given Edward a real boost and, since he knows he will be fairly rewarded for the lamb he produces, he has more time to concentrate on farming instead of spending hours on the phone trying to sell his livestock.
"I'm really proud of selling my lambs to Waitrose because it has such high standards. The buyer is in touch all the time too - he tells me how my lamb is selling and what customers think of it."