Welsh beef and lamb exports target new markets

Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales) is targeting new markets for Welsh beef and lamb in North America, its chairman announced on the first day of the Royal Welsh Show.

“HCC has recently been part of an EU delegation to China and our relationship with Chinese authorities is progressing. We are determined to crack China sooner rather than later and this would open up an export market potentially worth millions of pounds. But we’re not putting all our eggs in one basket. We will further develop UK and domestic markets for Welsh beef and lamb, and we’re lining up Canada as a premium export market for Welsh lamb.

“Canadian authorities have already given the green light for Welsh lamb exports and all those processors that have applied for licences have received them. A trade mission to Canada will follow.”

Mr Davies paid tribute to the Welsh meat processing sector, whose professionalism and efficiency ensured consistent supplies of quality Welsh beef and lamb “from Haverfordwest to Hong Kong”. But he was concerned about Food Standards Agency plans to pass on the cost of meat hygiene inspections to producers at a time when farmers’ and processors’ margins were under pressure. “If these changes come in, I am fearful of the long-term future of slaughtering capacity in Wales.”

New marketing campaigns for Welsh meat would be launched on television and in print media this autumn, he added.

Wales’ farming minister Alun Davies praised the work of HCC in developing markets for Welsh livestock. “We know that Welsh beef and lamb was worth £150m last year. It’s not a cottage industry – it’s big business.”

He insisted that the new Welsh government understood the importance of agriculture. “I want to see Welsh agriculture succeed and make money. I want to see processors and producers creating profitability.”