HCC’s work at home and abroad boosts demand for Welsh meat

HCC’s work at home and abroad boosts demand for Welsh meat

In her speech to Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales’ annual conference, Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, Rebecca Evans announced that HCC, working with Welsh Government, had been successful in its application to the European Commission’s promotion of agricultural products programme.

Rebecca Evans AM

Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, Rebecca Evans.

The funding would further enhance the positive work HCC carries out in developing Welsh markets abroad, the Deputy Minister told the industry audience at Parc y Scarlets.

“I am delighted that HCC has been successful in its bid for funding for this new promotion programme. Hybu Cig Cymru works hard to gain access to emerging markets so this additional funding is very welcome and will hopefully help boost consumption and sales.

“We pride ourselves on supplying some of the finest produce in the world, including Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef. The awarding of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status has given Wales a massive boost for our lamb and beef products and the continued efforts of HCC will ensure this continues.”

The Deputy Minister said the next Rural Development Programme for Wales (2014-20) offered a vital opportunity to help the industry become more efficient, to improve competitiveness and to increase profitability.

The Welsh Government would be procuring a new programme of knowledge transfer and innovation support commencing in 2015 and the Deputy Minister urged supply chain businesses to adapt to remain competitive and, wherever they sit, to take full advantage of the considerable support that is on offer in Wales.

One important example of where Government, HCC and the industry are working together was on EIDCymru, said Ms Evans.

“HCC will lead on the front-end delivery of EIDCymru, working closely with industry, and I look forward to seeing the successful rollout of this exciting initiative. It will provide Wales with a modern robust movement reporting and traceability system to respond quickly and effectively in any disease outbreak.

“In developing EIDCymru, the Welsh Government has worked, and will continue to work, closely with the Scottish Government, to take up the Scottish offer to utilise ScotEID as the base on which to develop the Welsh system,” she said.

“Farmers will also be able to establish relationships with markets and abattoirs as they see fit in order to use the electronic movement data to assist in flock management.

“This represents a massive opportunity for sheep farmers in Wales to modernise and professionalise their businesses and I hope they grasp that opportunity. Electronic Identification is something that is here to stay,” said Ms Evans.

HCC’s conference enjoyed a record attendance of 225 delegates and the Deputy Minister said the red meat authority had succeeded in ensuring that Welsh health authorities and many local authorities in Wales only offer PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef on their menus. PGI status had given Wales “a massive boost for our lamb and beef products and with the efforts of HCC and beyond, this onward march continues,” she said.

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