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Roadmap for lamb

The industry is laying out action steps so producers can stay competitive in the market

The American lamb industry is changing the way it does business. It has created what’s called a “roadmap project” with action steps to bring back profitability.

Dan Lippert is chairman of the American Lamb Board. He says the roadmap is a response to concerns about the industry’s fluctuating market. The dramatic cycles have made it difficult for producers to be successful long-term and bring new people into the industry.

To be effective and compete with the other meat proteins in the marketplace, Lippert says lamb producers need to be consistent with the product that’s sold in the store.

"We’re promoting a few concepts nationally. We’re trying to promote the idea of a value-based pricing system. The other meats have generally had more focus on the retail value of their product. We’re trying to look at the meat as what the consumer wants, and what they want is lean meat and an attractive presentation," says Lippert.

Other action steps include exploring alternative paths to market, conducting a Lamb Quality Audit every three years, and improving consumers’ eating experience of lamb.

In the meantime, Lippert says producers need to focus on their breeding stock, their customers, and the end product.

"We’ve typically viewed the auction barn as our customer, but we’re trying to get the focus back on our ultimate customer," he says. "The person buying the meat in the store or in the food service industry, what do they want? And if you’ll buy your breeding stock based on that, we can see some tremendous gains, we feel."

Lippert says collaboration amongst all sectors of the industry is critical for success. The action plan will change and evolve over time as the Lamb Board learns from the implementation effort.

Learn more about the American Lamb Industry Roadmap Project

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