New HCC publication highlights growth for Welsh meat industry
Welsh red meat grew by £13 million in the last year according to Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales’ (HCC) annual review of facts, figures and trends for the nation’s lamb, beef and pork industries.
Among the key figures in this year’s edition of HCC’s ‘Little Book of Meat Facts’ was that Welsh red meat production was worth an estimated £690 million in 2018, compared with £677 million the previous year.
In 2019, total throughput of cattle and calves in Welsh abattoirs stood at 147,600 head, with total beef production totalling 42,900 tonnes (up from 40,000 tonnes the previous year). Throughput of sheep and lambs stood at 3.3 million head, with total sheep meat production totalling 63,400 tonnes, compared with 60,800 in 2018.
France remained the largest destination for lamb exports, but with important growth in trade with Germany which is now in a clear second place. Beef and lamb exports were mostly to Europe, although with significant trade to other markets in the Middle East, East Asia and Canada.
The review also contains information on what kinds of meat British consumers are buying and from which retailers, as well as data on key industry measures such as carcase classification.
HCC data analyst Glesni Phillips said: “What all the statistics show is that, despite uncertainty surrounding Brexit and now of course the disruption of Covid-19, the red meat sector is hugely important to the Welsh economy.
“It’s the backbone of rural communities, and also employs large numbers in auction markets, processing and the supply chain, as well as supporting brands which are symbols of our nation’s high-quality food across the world.”