Sales of Welsh lamb in four key European markets have been given a £3.5m boost.
Wales’ meat promotion agency, Hybu Cig Cymru, will spend the funding package over the next three years to promote Welsh lamb in France, Italy, Germany and the UK.
The initiative, announced at the Royal Welsh Show, will build on Welsh lamb’s Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status.
Research has shown that consumers in Italy have the highest awareness of PGI, followed by France, the UK and Germany.
HCC will contribute half the money and the remainder will come from a European Union fund to promote agricultural products, it has been announced.
Dai Davies, HCC chairman, said the funding would reap benefits for farmers and processors in Wales. “It is hoped that by creating extra awareness of PGI Welsh lamb among retailers and consumers, additional demand will be generated, which will boost business opportunities for processing companies in Wales,” he said.
Deputy farming minister, Alun Davies, described the initiative as “excellent news” for sheep farmers in Wales.
“Welsh lamb has long been heralded as the best in the world and I am delighted that the funding from the EU will help Hybu Cig Cymru show the rest of the Europe just how good Welsh lamb is,” he said.
“Food is also an excellent way of selling a country to tourists, so tapping into foreign markets will not only benefit farmers and processors, but will hopefully encourage people to visit Wales to sample the excellent produce we have to offer.”