Farmers in the UK are upset that a large supermarket chain is promoting New Zealand lamb over locally sourced sheepmeat.

The National Farmers' Union of England and Wales has blasted supermarket chain Tesco for promoting what they've dubbed "foreign" product over that available on the domestic market.

Union president Meurig Raymond told British media it was unfair that a local supermarket was slashing prices on overseas-sourced meat - in particular, that from New Zealand - while local lamb was only available in the premium range.

"Our members are upset and quite angry that when their product is at its very best - and at its most abundant - Tesco is actively marketing foreign produce," he told the Daily Mail.


"British lamb can never be better than it is in July and there is no reason at the moment to price-promote lamb from the other side of the world."

Over the past few days, the union has vented its frustrations via social networking site Twitter, telling customers how disappointed local farmers were and encouraging them to buy local lamb.

New Zealand meat has been exported to the UK since the 1800s and continues to be a sought-after product there, Meat Industry Association of NZ head Tim Ritchie said.

It was important to understand that retailers had a responsibility to give consumers a choice.

For example, he said shipments to the UK had fallen back by about 10 per cent in the past year, as more meat was being sent to growing Asian markets.