Centre for Rural Economy


Swaledale Sheep Study

This study provided an analysis of the market situation for the Swaledale breed.

More specifically, the analysis identified, inter alia, the trends in net farm incomes on Less Favoured Area sheep farms in the north of England, the trends in sheep prices, the short to medium term prospects for the trade in store sheep and the short to medium term market effects of the loss of the Swaledale flocks culled during FMD.

In addition, this study identified new and unconventional market opportunities for Swaledale lamb, the prospects of Swaledale farmers contracting with supermarkets, the potential of Swaledale farmers engaging in co-operative schemes and the potential of marketing Swaledale lamb from all three hill breeds in Cumbria.

Finally, the study examined whether there is a scope for building an identity for the Swaledale breed and on that basis, it stressed the major issues that need to be considered in a future promotion of that breed's produce such as meat and wool products. Possible markets and consumer segments that may be interested for these products were identified and for the latter, various branding, sales and promotional strategies were suggested.