Welsh red meat sector monitoring report marks ‘progress’
The Welsh red meat sector has enjoyed growth in a number of areas set out in the ‘Twenty Twenty Vision’ strategic action plan, drawn up by the Welsh Government and Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).
The annual monitoring report of the industry, approved by the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, demonstrated – among other objectives – growth in the Welsh red meat share of market value and increased trade and consumer demand for the product in both the domestic and export markets.
It also showed increased awareness and improved consumer perception of Welsh red meat, along with increased consumption, enhanced industry knowledge and understanding of market needs and trends, and improved business management skills and industry resilience.
The Action Plan’s overall goal is to create an efficient and sustainable red meat industry which benefits the people of Wales, setting a range of targets to grow the sector in two main areas – increasing sales revenue from lamb, beef and pork from Wales; and improving on-farm output within the sector.
Among the key external factors in the past year have been the impacts of the EU referendum, including related currency shifts and uncertainty over the future terms of trade to Europe, as well as weather conditions affecting the livestock industry.
HCC chief executive, Gwyn Howells, commented: “The red meat sector is hugely important to the Welsh economy.”
“Lamb, beef and pork producers account for well over half of agricultural businesses, and our PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) red meat brands are Wales’s most recognisable food products.”
“The industry has set out ambitious goals to aim for by 2020,” he added. “Highlights of the past year from a promotion point of view include the development of new recipe videos for online marketing, UK retail promotions, and increased export business in a number of important countries.”
Griffiths noted: “It is clear from reading the report there has been progress in a number of important areas as set out in the ‘Twenty Twenty Vision’ strategic action plan.
“As we prepare for a future outside the EU it is important we grasp every opportunity to operate in a more collaborative, efficient manner in order to build resilience and achieve a prosperous, sustainable red meat industry in Wales.”