Welsh local authorities and health trusts will stage the first national beef day tomorrow (5 October) by including Welsh beef on menus at hundreds of public sector buildings across the country.
Promotional events will run in schools across the country as a celebration and recognition of a substantial shift in public procurement policy to put more Welsh produce on the plates of schoolchildren and hospital patients.
Schools and hospitals from Porthmadog to Pembroke and Mold to Monmouth will participate in the day to draw attention to their use of Welsh Beef in a move co-ordinated by Hybu Cig Cymru/Meat Promotion Wales and strongly backed by Welsh Assembly Government Environment, Planning and Countryside minister Carwyn Jones, farming unions, processors and butchers in Wales.
Jones said: "Welsh Beef is now widely available in our schools and hospitals across Wales and that is good for our children, our patients, our environment, our farmers and our economy. I am delighted that so many local authorities across Wales have enthusiastically signed up to participate in this day of national activity organised by HCC. They are helping to demonstrate just how far we have come in a relatively short time to put Welsh Beef on the plates of Welsh schoolchildren.
"At last year's national procurement conference I appealed to local authorities to buy Welsh - and councils and schools have really delivered to make our day today such a success," he said.
Gwyn Howells, HCC chief executive, said the day was unique as it brought together the public sector, producers, pupils and patients in Wales.
"Our farmers produce some of the best red meat in the world and often do this a few miles from a school or hospital-yet until recently far too much of the meat served to children or patients was imported."