SUPERMARKET Coles expects to boost Tasmanian lamb purchases by 80 percent for its specialist grass-fed brand GRAZE Lamb this year.
The supermarket said the introduction of GRAZE lamb created a new market for 65 dedicated Tasmanian producers last year and it would increase the number of lambs expected to be purchased from around 100,000 in 2020, to180,000 this year.
Third-generation farmers Lauchie and Sarah Cole are owners of 1000 hectare intensive, mixed property in the Northern Midlands of Tasmania and said it is the perfect place to produce quality grass-fed lamb.
“We pride ourselves on producing a premium product in all aspects of our business.
“When given the opportunity to participate in the Coles GRAZE Tasmanian lamb program we were 100% committed,” they said.
“The program provides us surety to supply and the ability to lock in price and quantities allowing us to manage commodity price risk and of course the opportunity to support a Tasmanian branded program, influencing consumers to choose a sustainable grass-fed product,” they said.
“To see our lamb flourish in such a pristine environment prior to processing provides the Coles GRAZE Brand confidence in our promise and charter to supply what consumers are searching for.”
Coles said it is adding new cuts to its GRAZE Lamb range for summer, including grass-fed lamb fillets, backstraps, marinated shoulder, Frenched shanks and extra trim cutlets.
The grass-fed lamb range is sourced from Tasmanian lamb producers with pristine growing conditions and high animal welfare standards, the company said.
Coles said it was the first Australian supermarket to offer a lamb range which comes entirely from lamb that graze freely on lush green Tasmanian grass for a leaner, natural-tasting and premium quality product.
Coles said it will sell more lamb than at any other time of year this week, with sales of lamb chops increasing by 20 percent compared to December 2020.
Coles general manager for meat Charlotte Gilbert said GRAZE Lamb is offering customers a high quality, grass-fed option and the range has helped reinvigorate Coles’ lamb offer.
“We sell over 20 million kilograms of lamb each year, so we know our customers already love lamb.
“The GRAZE range is truly something special for those who are looking to serve up a great value premium product to their friends and family,” she said.
“Grass-fed meat is sought after by chefs for its trusted premium quality, natural taste and high Omega-3 content, and we were delighted to be the first retailer to offer grass-fed lamb for our customers to enjoy at home.”
Coles said its GRAZE program was developed in 2014 in consultation with the Cattle Council and is based on the principles contained in the Pasturefed Cattle Assurance System (PCAS).
Under the Coles GRAZE program, farmers are required to meet high standards in animal husbandry and pasture management standards which are independently assessed by industry auditor AUS‑MEAT.
Unique to the industry, the GRAZE program also specifies cattle and lamb are never fed grain to supplement their diet. Farmers can feed grain to animals if grass is unavailable, however it will then be sold as conventionally farmed product.
Under the Coles Tasmanian GRAZE Lamb Production and Claim Requirements:
Animals are born in Tasmania and are traceable back to birth
Have had access to graze open pasture their entire lives
Have been fed as per the eligible and banned feeds lists
Have not been confined for the purpose of intensive feeding for production
Have not been treated at any time with antibiotics.