Welsh lamb producers hope to increase exports to Italy, currently worth £8m to their industry.
A delegation from the Welsh meat promotion agency, Hybu Cig Cymru, is heading to Naples to hold talks with Italy’s leading meat importers and supermarkets on the advantages of selling the product to Italian consumers.
Wales already exports a large volumes of lamb to Italy – in 2009 the trade was worth more than £8m to the Welsh economy.
HCC’s chief executive, Gwyn Howells, said a growing demand for Welsh lamb in Italy had been identified.
“The majority of this meat is sold in the northern half of the country,” said Mr Howells.
“This week’s event, organised in conjunction with a major Italian meat importer, is designed to showcase Welsh lamb to traders in the southern half of the country. The purpose of this mission is to help satisfy that demand, by providing practical advice on how best to prepare and sell it to suit Italian tastes.”
HCC will be stressing the provenance of Welsh lamb and highlighting the industry-leading standards of production employed by Welsh farmers and processors.
HCC’s marketing executive, Graham Titchener, will also provide a cutting masterclass for Italian butchers more used to dealing with smaller carcasses.
Welsh Lamb benefits from having Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status.
It means that Welsh lamb must have been born and raised in Wales, giving it the same status among discerning European shoppers as Champagne from France and Italy’s own Parma Ham.
The trade mission follows a similar and successful event held in the southern Italian city of Bari last year, which involved more than 200 leading businesses.