Organically certified sheep farmers in Iceland are looking to sell their meat to European markets, Bændablaðið reports.
Sale of lamb meat has been steadily declining in Iceland over the last few years, causing many farmers to stop their production and turn to other sources of revenue. At least six sheep farms in Iceland are certified organic and now those are looking to sell their lamb meat to Europe.
Andrés Vilhjálmson, head of export for Icelandic Lamb has been in contact with potential buyers overseas and is confident the deals will go through. According to Andrés, the transaction has been delayed due to the fact that, up until this point, organic lamb meat hasn’t been especially distinguished from regular lamb at the pertaining product facilities. After the next slaughter season, however, organic lamb will be separated as such and shipment to Europe can begin.
“Next season we plan to send most if not all organically certified lamb meat out of the country,” Andrés says, “which is around 20 tons of meat. We can expect organic lamb meat to command up to 15 to 20 percent higher prices in the markets we’re pursuing than regular lamb meat. A big part of that money would go straight to the sheep farmers.”
“This is hugely important for everybody, but especially for us organic sheep farmers, of course,” says Halla Steinólfsdóttir, farmer from Ytri-Fagridalur. “Our stubbornness and belief in the organic lifestyle is paying off,” she adds, urging the Icelandic government and the Farmers Association of Iceland to pay more attention to organically certified produce in their policy making and marketing in the future.