HCC reports “more demand” from consumers at annual conference
Chair of Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), Catherine Smith told industry delegates at its annual conference that the trade body has seen “more demand from UK consumers for high-quality and home produced beef.”
The conference was held in Builth Wells on 9th November, and featured a keynote speech from Professor Dr. Peer Ederer, who is working to debunk myths surrounding the nutritional value of red meat.
Talking about the conference’s keynote speaker, Smith said: “Professor Dr Peer Ederer, is the co-founder of a powerful new group that seeks to help us right the wrongs that have been blighting our industry – the imbalanced narrative of a small, but well-funded, minority who make disproportionate, unrepresentative and inaccurate claims about our work.”
She cautioned that to defeat this disinformation, the industry in Wales must also fire many effective slingshots of its own: “Our information must be impeccable to support our case. Years of ground-breaking research and months of evidence-building went into making our branding work robust, persuasive and resilient.
“But of course, it all rests on the brilliance of our farmers and their unrivalled sustainability credentials that truly authenticate HCC’s “the Welsh Way” of production.”
Consumer demand increasing, says HCC
Smith went onto say that the Welsh lamb exports are buoyant and domestic interest is growing: “We’re making great progress. With your help and HCC’s team and resourcefulness, our movement is unstoppable.”
The HCC chair stated that the Welsh industry was in a strong position because stakeholder levy was linked to inflation, protected against further annual erosion.
She also said that the trade body’s current lamb campaign mixed traditional TV advertising work with “nimble, innovative and multi-platform communications.” HCC’s beef campaign – Naturally Local – is also up and running and is expected to “crank up” approaching the festive season. Combined, they are expected to reach four million people.
“On the marketing front, it’s gratifying that we’ve already had an unprecedented response to this dramatically different, contemporary approach,” she said. “Last month, at the global showcase Anuga in Cologne, the HCC team reported their busiest show ever with interest from scores of buyers from across Europe, North America and the Far East.
“We are also seeing more demand from UK consumers for high-quality and home-produced beef and for the first eight months of this year, UK sheepmeat export volumes increased year-on-year by twelve per cent from January to August, with product from Wales accounting for a significant proportion of this.”