11 January 2001
Double boost for Welsh meat

By FWi staff

WELSH livestock producers have been given a double boost in efforts to increase exports to the Continent.

Figures indicate that a Spanish supermarket chains decision to sell branded Welsh lamb has led to a 10% increase in sales.

The agreement with the Eroski chain could lead to a 50% increase on exports to Spain last year, says the Farmers Union of Wales.

In the other development, an FUW campaign to highlight the illegal French ban on Welsh and other British beef will be publicised at a major rugby match.

A young Welsh Black bull is to be paraded on the pitch before next weeks televised Llanelli v Colomiers Heineken European rugby cup tie.

The increase in lamb sales in Spain was welcomed by FUW deputy director of policy Arwyn Owen.

“This is very good news at a crucial time following last autumns disappointing sales which dropped by an estimated 20,000 lambs,” he said.

That fall came after an increase of 115% in Welsh Lamb exports to Spain last summer.

Producers also hope to raise their profile in the French market after Metro food stores agreed to stock a Welsh Lamb packaging and product range.

Meanwhile, the FUW aims to show the French what they are missing by fielding 15-month-old, 600kg Gwarcwm Aron at Stradey Park.

It will be accompanied on its tour of the ground by Llanelli president, former Welsh international Ray Gravell, and owner Huw Jones.

Welsh Agriculture Minister Carwyn Jones and the Wales rugby coach Graham Henry will lend support by attending the match, says the FUW.