New U.S. Lamb Cut Chart Guide
July 25, 2014

With funding support from the American Lamb Board, the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) has developed a new U.S. Lamb Cut Chart Guide to help promote U.S. lamb in international markets. With the Caribbean being one of the most popular destinations for U.S. lamb exports, USMEF Caribbean representative Elizabeth Wunderlich was heavily involved in the project.

"As we started to see more and more of our members interested in exporting lamb to our foreign markets, it became clear to us that we needed to try to develop materials that would be more specific to what the buyers in those markets might be looking for and, most importantly, we wanted to be able to move beyond the basic lamb cuts and add merchandising to that piece, working with not just current cuts but with the potential markets," said Wunderlich. "For example, we know that skirt and flank are really big in our Asia and in our Hispanic markets and so maybe we can have them start pulling those out and we can create a market for that. Or maybe even isolating some of the muscles out of the chuck, like we do with beef and pork these days. We are able to look at isolating some separate muscles and promote that because that is a very undervalued area for lamb.

"We have been working vigorously trying to identify not just the current cuts but the cuts for the future to help our international buyers successfully get the cuts they want to get."

With prices for high-end lamb cuts increasing, one of the important goals behind the chart is to get chefs and other buyers thinking about alternative cuts.

"As far as chefs, we definitely want to look at products that might work very well on their menus that they just haven't thought about - like beyond the rack or beyond the leg mentality. What else is out there that we can sell from the carcass that are not the normal cuts," concluded Wunderlich.