Farm to fork experience for European food industry insiders
Groups of journalists and importers from Sweden and the Netherlands have experienced Welsh sheep farming for the first time in a Welsh farm to fork experience to learn more about PGI Welsh Lamb.
A group of food journalists from key Swedish food magazines toured Carmarthenshire and visited a traditional Welsh hill farm in Pumsaint earlier in the summer. The group saw how Welsh Lamb is farmed in a natural environment as well as seeing butchery demonstrations and sampling Welsh Lamb cuisine also.
Meanwhile, more recently a crew of Dutch Meat Association butchers and meat importers explored Wales from south to north. The group travelled the country, visiting restaurants serving Welsh cuisine and several of Wales’ processing sites in order to see the high standards adhered to in the Welsh red meat sector.
The visits were organised by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) to encourage more sales of PGI Welsh Lamb and raise the product’s profile with European consumers. Significant coverage was gained from the Swedish inward mission and the Dutch Meat Association are a step closer in securing PGI Welsh Lamb shipments.
Dunia Jamil, editor of Swedish food magazine Butikstrender wrote about her visit and Welsh Lamb, commenting “there are good natural conditions found for lambs in Wales as we could see on the spot. There are extensive pastures and green ground with streams and rivers in a varied terrain. Wales is excellent through the contrast of pastures in the lowland environment and the highlands with the hills and mountains.”
She continued “The conditions for production of lamb in harmony with nature and environment has also caused the EU to give Welsh Lamb PGI status – that is Protected Geographical Indication…that places Welsh Lamb in the same category as Parma Ham or Champagne as another example.”
HCC’s Export Market Development Executive, Deanna Jones, commented “The benefits of hosting these types of visits cannot be underestimated. Giving importers and journalists a first-hand experience of the product and the PGI Welsh Lamb story is highly beneficial; in this instance the journalists were in their element exploring Welsh fields and farmland which has resulted in great press coverage and a greater awareness of PGI Welsh Lamb in Sweden.”