November 12, 2004 -- Members of the Tri-Lamb Group, comprised of representatives from the U.S., Australia and New Zealand sheep industries, gathered this week in Australia to further discuss various trade, production and marketing issues.
During his speech, American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) President and Ohio sheep producer Guy Flora noted the need in the United States for a greater awareness of the health and nutritional benefits of lamb.
Flora also made mention of the "cultural factor" of lamb consumption in the United States, citing the per-capita consumption figure of roughly 15 lbs. in New York City, an area with a higher percentage of different races and ethnic diets, as opposed to the national average of about 1 lb. annually.
To that end, Tri-Lamb meeting participants drafted a resolution calling for the development of a consumer education program aimed at increasing the awareness of the nutritional and health benefits of lamb in the United States.
The group collectively drafted additional resolutions, which in principle, call for:
? a reduction in trade restrictions through the Doha Round;
? also through the Doha Round, the analyzing of potential benefits of lamb-trade liberalization aimed at quotas on lamb in Europe;
? the sharing of information on the timing and location of promotional campaigns in the U.S. market;
? the collaborative development of livestock ID and traceability systems to ensure compatible, cost-effective and practical outcomes in each of the participating countries;
? the sharing of experiences regarding previous and future animal-health campaigns, emergency responses and research;
? a collaborative approach regarding the development of animal-health priorities; and
? the development of an intranet reference library and promotion of ongoing dialogue and management of information.
The United States was represented at the event by ASI producer members and National Lamb Feeders Association members.
This is the second year of meetings between the producers following a meeting in Washington, D.C. in September 2003. The next Tri-Lamb Group meeting is tentatively scheduled for late 2005 in New Zealand.
Staff contact: Paul Rodgers (303) 771-3500