Norway keen to export lamb

Norwegian sheep ranchers hope to start exporting lamb, marketing it as a gourmet product at the upper end of the price scale. The "exclusive" meat would be aimed at consumers in Europe.

Tore Ivar Slettemoen, who came up with the idea, told newspaper Aftenposten that several wholesalers have signalled their interest and that the concept, along with samples of Norwegian lamb, have won praise from a test panel of consumers and cooks.

Slettemoen was one of the founders of Hallingskarvet Lam, a high-end producer that marketed its product as high-quality because the lambs grazed in prime mountain areas. Hallingskarvet was eventually bought up by Gilde, a major meat producer in Norway.

Now he wants to repeat the success with gourmet lamb produced for export. Holtan noted that lamb demand currently exceeds supply in Europe, and even a small piece of the European market could be lucrative for the Norwegians.