HCC outlines post-Brexit red meat export plan
A ten-year red meat strategy to optimise global market opportunities in the post-Brexit economy was advocated by the chairman of Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), at the red meat body’s annual conference in Bangor.
Dai Davies, chairman of HCC, said that Welsh exports are vital for building brands, industry sustainability, price stability, and added value to the whole supply chain.
He commented that HCC’s track record has seen export growth from around £50 million in 2003 to £250 million in 2014.
The ten-year strategy seeks the aid of the government’s partnership, in order to fully deliver the export plans.
Davies sought after the personal support of Lesley Griffiths AM, the cabinet secretary for environment and rural affairs.
Davies He said: “The Cabinet Secretary can open doors for us, make the most of those markets where we have earned access and lead a global diplomatic drive that will help our expert team to secure many more customers in all four corners of the world.”
The chairman highlighted the commercial strengths of Wales’ PGI red meat products and said that despite Brexit, two things remain unchanged and that is the uncontested taste and flavour of Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef products, and the Welsh Lamb brand’s crucial importance to Wales regarding image and reputation.
In regards to Welsh Lamb, Dai Davies added: “It can help to raise our national profile, inspire and lead trade and export initiatives and help build a wider platform and broader reputation for the quality and excellence of Welsh workmanship and products.”
He also stated that HCC is now actively involved in assisting the exporting of Welsh Lamb and is involved with discussions with more than 45 countries.
However, many of these countries are a long way behind HCC’s leading markets in the EU.
“With such an imbalanced trading dependency, especially on the Welsh Lamb account, it is vital that we defend and extend our markets in Europe,” said Davies. “. We cannot go backwards and we cannot stand still.
“I am very grateful to see the First Minister strongly advocating a tariff-free Brexit within a competitive, fair trade agreement. He, and the Environment and Rural Affairs Cabinet Secretary, will have our full support as an industry for their efforts to achieve these crucial aims,” he added.