HCC looks to future challenges for red meat sector

HCC looks to future challenges for red meat sector

Following an extensive period of seeking the views of farmers and stakeholders, the recommendation of the board of directors of Welsh red meat body Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) to change levy rates in order to meet new challenges has been approved by the Welsh Government Minister for Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths MS.

Catherine Smith, Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) chair.

The Board has also refreshed its ‘Red Meat Vision for Wales’ strategy document to take account of the new context facing the sector including post-Brexit trade agreements, the challenge of sustainability, and inflationary pressures exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.

Beginning at the start of the new financial year on April 1st, levy rates will be increased in line with inflation. This will mean an extra 6p on the farmers’ levy for sheep and 2p for processors, and a proportionate 40p increase in the cattle levy for farmers, and 12p for processors. This is the first increase in the Welsh Red Meat Levy since 2011.

HCC chair Catherine Smith said, “Since publishing our Vision document in 2018 the world has changed in ways which were impossible to predict with certainty at the time. We now know the outcome of Brexit negotiations and some potential new trade deals, while inflation linked to the international situation has meant that the levy pound does not go as far as it did.

“We’re grateful to farmers and the wider supply chain for their views on the changes, and to the Minister for agreeing to the Board’s recommendation regarding levy rates. This will enable HCC to plan ahead with certainty to deliver for the Welsh red meat sector – in terms of enhanced marketing, supply chain efficiency and driving forward greater sustainability.”

Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said: “I’d like to thank all those who took part in the consultation and gave their views to HCC.  I’ve accepted the recommendation to increase the levy rate made to me by the HCC board which will help HCC continue with their important work in promoting the red meat sector during this challenging time.”

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