Agro Minister: No Lamb Imports - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Agro Minister: No Lamb Imports

Published July 20, 2011

Despite climbing domestic prices due to an artificial shortage of lamb in Iceland, the Minister of Agriculture has refused to allow the importing of foreign lamb.
As reported, exports of Icelandic lamb meat have been soaring, with nearly half of the country’s capacity going overseas. While this has been great for sheep farmers, it has been less than great for the country’s meat packers.
Leifur Þórsson, the director of Ferskar Kjötvörur, told RÚV that he has not been able to find lamb available except at Sláturfélagi Suðurlands, where he would have to pay 15% to 20% more. In order for him to turn a profit, he says, he needs to import lamb. To do that, he needs to get special permission from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Jón Bjarnason, the Minister of Agriculture, spoke to Stöð 2 news about the matter, and flat-out refused to allow for the importing of lamb.
Jón believes that allowing for the import of lamb would put Icelandic meat production in danger, saying that lamb is a foundation resource. He is, though, very happy with how well exports are going.
The Federation of Trade & Services is less than happy with Jón’s response, and have decided to file a formal complaint with parliament over the matter. They are certain that the price of lamb meat in Iceland will only continue to climb.


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