Among Iceland's proudest resources is its lamb, of which it has been notoriously protective. Last year, the agricultural minister blocked the idea of importing any lamb
, despite complaints from meat packers that they can scarcely make a profit on the domestic market with the price of lamb as it is. The Federation of Trade & Services also filed a formal complaint to parliament on the matter, saying that Icelandic consumers should be able to have more choices.Morgunblaðið
now reports that special permission has been granted to import up to 50 tonnes of lamb and goat meat.
This permission is actually part of Iceland's obligation, as signatories to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which regulates the import/export balance between signatory countries.
Helgi Einarsson, the director of the Icelandic food company Íslenskra matvara, told reporters that they believed it would be good for Icelanders to compare the qualities of Icelandic and New Zealand lamb, and his company wanted to see if there is any interest in the imported lamb. In addition, the New Zealand lamb will be sold for about the same price as Icelandic lamb.
For the first time since the Settlement, lamb from abroad will be imported to Iceland as part of a consumer experiment.