All our LAMB
is BRITISH – all year round
The lambs roam on rolling hills and lush pastures, frolicking when the sun shines, and finding shelter when it rains. They forage for grass and feed on extra hay or root crops when it's in short supply.
All of our own-label fresh and frozen lamb is from British farmers, who share our commitment to high welfare standards.
Waitrose wins awards for its farming. Look out for our animal welfare marque on our own-label meat and fish.
MEET the farmer
“My family’s been farming here in Cornwall for more than 60 years,” says Charlotte Batten, one of Waitrose's dedicated farmers rearing West Country lambs. “I’m the third generation, and I work with my husband Dan and my mum Grace. We have always had sheep here – the milder climate in the West Country gives us a longer grass-growing season, so it’s a good area for them.
“We’ve got 700 breeding ewes, and we supply Waitrose with more than 1,000 lambs every year. Our sheep are outside for most of their lives – they’re really only indoors for lambing – and they get everything they need from the green pastures they live on. We make our own hay and silage from the grass we grow, for when they’re indoors during lambing, so it’s as natural a life as it can be.
Third generation farmer Charlotte Batten rears West Country lambs in Cornwall
‘You learn to know your own animals, and you can tell when they’re happy and content'
“Every morning we check them all, to make sure they’ve got plenty of grazing in front of them and nice, clean, fresh water. You learn to know your own animals, and you can tell when they’re happy and content. Waitrose has very rigorous welfare standards, and we work very closely with the supermarket and with its processor, Dalehead.
“Lambing takes place in February. It’s our busiest time. We’ve got a big lambing shed that’s purpose built, and we take turns at spending the night in there. That way, everyone gets at least some sleep. If we can be at our best, that’s better for the sheep too. It’s hard work – you get to the end and think, where did that month go? But it’s so rewarding. You see the bond between the ewes and their lambs. When they’re running around the fields and thriving, you look at them and know you’ve guided them to that.
“The day they leave us isn’t a sad day, because we know we’ve done our best for them and they’ve had a good life. We’d strive to give our animals a happy, healthy life anyway, but to be able to sell them on to a supermarket that’s so committed to animal welfare and British farming, and want to tell its customers about the work we do, really means a lot to us.”