Welsh farmers target red meat sales surge

Wales could boost red meat sales by more than one-third by 2020, according to an industry plan.

The new six-year strategy from Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) – Meat Promotion Wales – aims to increase Welsh beef and lamb sales at least 34% to £776m.

This could increase the industry’s share of Welsh farming output by 5% to £624m.

HCC’s plan comes after discussions across the supply chain and with the Welsh government.

The levy board wants farmers and anyone with an industry in Welsh red meat to share their views on the strategy over the next eight weeks.

See also: Welsh farm incomes forecast to plummet

HCC chief executive Gwyn Howells said the last plan, launched in 2009, led to considerable progress in creating a more profitable, efficient and sustainable industry.

“In an increasingly competitive global marketplace it is important that we continue to be dynamic in further developing our industry,” he said.

“If we are to safeguard the long-term future of the red meat industry and sustain the sector’s contributions towards a thriving rural economy then we must embrace the latest production and processing methods to enable us to compete effectively with our rivals.”

Welsh sheepmeat exports grew from £109m to £155m between 2009 and 2013 – the period of the last industry plan.

Welsh beef exports more than doubled over the same period, from £31m to £69m.

The new strategy aims to boost sales by raising demand for red meat products and improving on-farm efficiency, by balancing higher production with strong environmental credentials.

HCC’s consultation is running until Friday 1 May and the full document can be seen on the HCC’s website at www.hccmpw.org.uk.