A major marketing programme to promote regionally produced meat products is announced today (10 November 2000) between Somerfield, the leading supermarket chain and farmers organisation Peak District Beef & Lamb Ltd.Under the arrangement all fresh-packed and in-store butchered beef and lamb sold in the Somerfield stores in Ashbourne, Dronfield, Matlock and Stone will be supplied by Peak District Beef and Lamb. It will be clearly labeled and packaged as Peak District meat. Plans are already in place to extend the scheme to up to 22 stores in and around the area including the stores in Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham and Derby. The deal is the first major arrangement announced by Peak District Beef and Lamb and according to managing director Oscar Prince it offers tremendous prospects for the region's livestock farmers. "This deal allows us to build a market for regionally produced and branded beef and lamb," he explains. "As continuity of supply grows and we have products in more supermarkets so we are confident that farmer prices will increase."We have long known that Peak District farmers rear quality stock and this agreement with Somerfield is a key stage in developing a long term future for the region's farmers. We are totally committed to working with Somerfield to build the market," continues Mr Prince.According to Somerfield trading manager Rosemary Price there is strong demand for regional products. "Local residents and visitors to an area are keen to purchase products from healthy stock, reared under environmentally friendly, welfare conscious systems in a clearly identified area of the country," she explains. "If any area of the country has a readily identifiable image, it is the Peak District and we are confident of boosting the demand for beef and lamb reared in the region."