Federated Farmers is launching a campaign to raise the average price of a lamb to $150 in five years.
That’s around three times the price paid last season and nearly twice what’s expected this season.
Feds says better returns will come for efficiencies and rationalisation in the supply chain and that farmers will need to commit to supply contracts with meat companies, and spread the killing season.
The sheep and lamb kill will be down by about nine million head this season. That will leave a lot of spare capacity at freezing works which will force rationalisation on meat companies.
But committing to contracts and spreading the season are easier said and done because unless you have irrigation and/or scope, when you sell is dependent on feed which varies with the rainfall.
The demand for by-products also impacts on farmer returns. One reason lamb prices were so low last season was that prices for wool, pelts and tallow were well down too.