Wednesday, June 26th 2002 - 21:00 UTC

Falklands organic lamb for UK

It is predicted that British housewives will be able to buy Falkland's organic lamb in United Kingdom food shops as early as next year.

The project, reported in the British press, is to export around 30.000 young lambs and 70.000 mutton next year.

Falkland Islands Government Chief Executive, Dr Michael Blanch, is reported as saying that the £1.5 million new Stanley abattoir is expected to receive European Union approval this year and that the export of free-range, organic lamb should bolster the fortunes of farmers.

"We have had great success marketing organic, pesticide-free potatoes, cabbage and salad vegetables to the Ministry of Defence (for the Falklands garrison) and to cruise ships in the past five years. We intend to market the lamb to the UK in the same way ? as ?clean and green'.

The export of lamb could be of significant benefit if fishing difficulties persist. He expressed the hope that the decline in squid stocks which have affected the fishing industry is an isolated incident and that stocks would return to normal next season.

He said there are now plans to build up fishing of finned fish in the Falklands conservation zone, such as hake and southern blue whiting. Oyster and mussel farms are also being expanded.

Harold Briley - London

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