Environmental credentials help make Welsh Lamb a hit in Belgium
PGI Welsh Lamb is available to an increasing number of consumers in Belgium, and is being promoted through marketing concentrating on the product’s positive story in terms of sustainable farming methods in tune with the Welsh landscape.
Red meat promotion body Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) has been active in the Belgian market for many years. Export figures show that Welsh Lamb exports to Belgium have increased by 17% over the past two years.
This year, HCC has been undertaking promotional activities, based on Welsh Lamb’s intrinsic link to the unspoilt landscape, and its outstanding traceability backed by the PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) designation.
One new Belgian company stocking Welsh Lamb is Bio-Planet, an organic supermarket chain committed to sourcing food produced to the highest standards of sustainability and animal welfare.
Christiaan Beerens from Bio-Planet visited the Royal Welsh Show this week, an event he has attended several times.
“I have visited Wales on many occasions,” said Christiaan. “In addition to taking in the Royal Welsh Show, which is such a great showcase for the Welsh agricultural industry, I have also visited many other parts of rural Wales. I have therefore become familiar with how PGI Welsh Lamb is produced, and have sampled it from local butchers and restaurants. It’s a product that we’re proud to add to our range.”
Welsh Lamb is also available in Belgium and Luxembourg through other outlets such as La Provençale and clients of the Good Meat importer / distributor.
According to HCC export development officer Kate Patten, telling the distinctive story of Welsh Lamb is vital in attracting discerning customers.
“Like consumers in many parts of Western Europe, prospective Welsh Lamb customers in Belgium are keen to know the story behind their food,” said Kate.
“In Wales, livestock are reared to very high standards of sustainability,” she said. “Our non-intensive, high-welfare farming systems are therefore a vital part of our promotional drive, as well as the PGI designation which is highly regarded as a mark of provenance and traceability.”
In addition to promotional activities, HCC has been active in promoting Welsh Lamb in Belgium through events such as the Horecatel trade exhibition, and through the dedicated welshlamb.be website.