26 July 2002

Big push for red meat

A NEW blueprint, which has been launched by the Meat and Livestock Commissions Welsh Council, hopes to boost red meat sales west of Offas Dyke.

Jane Connor, MLC sheep economist, told visitors to the Royal Welsh Show that a change was needed for the sector to stay viable.

The new Working for the Future document was intended to be a tool for strategists to build on the industrys strengths.

It contained comprehensive statistics on production and the supply chain for sheep meat and beef, and used these to make seven main recommendations.

These included a call for bodies to facilitate educational programmes that would demonstrate the mutual benefits of trust and alliance in the supply chain, collaborate initiatives between producers, and benchmarking to improve efficiency levels.

Mrs Connor added that it was important to demonstrate the benefits of strategic alliances to the abattoir sector, and assist with value-adding activities at a local niche level.

She suggested that it was important to investigate post abattoir supply chain operations to identify deficiencies and to ensure optimum efficiency.

The industry also needed a co-ordinated approach to the development of Welsh branding that avoided mixed consumer messages, she added.