Welsh industry must work together

Welsh industry must work together

The Welsh red meat industry is being urged to work together in 2013 to overcome the challenges it will face in the New Year.

Chief executive of Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), Gwyn Howells, said in his New Year message that a coordinated approach between all sectors will be key to delivering a profitable future for all stakeholders.

“The reform to the EU Agricultural Policy and meeting the ever changing demands of the modern consumer are among the challenges faced by our industry in the coming year.

“But here in Wales we have dedicated farmers that strive to produce some of the best meat in the world and a state of the art processing sector that can more than overcome these challenges and continue to fulfil our important role of feeding the nation.”

Howells said that 2012 has been a tough year with many the industry, with sheep farmers especially being hit by lower prices.

“It has been a tempestuous year for the sheep sector. The awful weather, the less favourable exchange rates and the decrease in value of the fifth quarter have all had an impact on prices farmers have been receiving this year.

“But demand for Welsh Lamb remains strong and I believe there are many reasons to be optimistic going into the New Year.”

Howells was also hopeful of good news from abroad that will bring an added bonus for the Welsh food sector in 2013.

“Negotiations to open up new markets in Russia and China are continuing and we hope to progress these discussions in the coming year.

“There is a growing demand for quality meat in Russia’s popular restaurants and steakhouses while China has a huge market for fifth quarter products and the increasing affluence also means a growing demand for high end cuts which we can fulfil.

“HCC will also continue to work with our existing customers in Europe and the Middle East to grow those markets.”

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