Campaign launched to whet consumer appetite for Welsh lamb

Hybu Cig Cymru has launched a heavy-weight marketing campaign to encourage meat-eaters in Wales and the rest of the UK to eat more Welsh Lamb and help struggling farmers.

Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), has launched a heavy-weight marketing campaign to encourage meat-eaters in Wales and the rest of the UK to eat more Welsh Lamb and help farmers struggling to cope with the after-effects of the foot and mouth export ban.

The consumer demand that the campaign will stimulate, combined with the greater availability of quality Welsh Lamb domestically, means that there has never been a better time for the trade to stock up on Welsh Lamb.

The three-month marketing campaign will see HCC advertising Welsh Lamb across a range of media platforms, including national TV, print, radio and web, and will also include an intensive consumer PR push to rally support for Welsh farmers, which will be reminiscent of the World War II 'Dig for Victory' campaign - when the British public were called upon to grow their own vegetables to help the war effort - to tug at the nation's heart strings. HCC is asking consumers to show their allegiance to Welsh farmers not by giving time or signing petitions, but by simply eating more Welsh Lamb than usual.

As well as eating more Welsh Lamb, campaign supporters will be encouraged to put up 'Buy Welsh Lamb' posters, which can be downloaded for free from the campaign website, www.buywelshlamb.co.uk . Posters will also be given away in selected newspapers throughout the UK, too.

Additional UK-wide campaign activity will include regional roadshows, in-store promotions and celebrity partnerships, and HCC will be encouraging individual community groups and institutions across the UK to support the campaign throughout the Winter months.

Bill Joyce, marketing manager for HCC, said: "The European export market is key to the Welsh Lamb industry, and so the export ban has had a massive impact on Welsh farmers. Even though the ban was lifted with restrictions on 12 October, it will take months for the industry to recover. It is therefore vital to stimulate consumption in our domestic market, which is what our marketing campaign aims to do."

The export ban was put in place as a response to curtailing the spread of foot and mouth disease (FMD) from Surrey, England, to other parts of Europe. The ban on all red meat products from the UK has meant that an extra 1.1m Welsh lambs could be on the domestic market between October and December.

In turn, the fallout from the export ban threatens meat production next year and the long-term stability of the lamb industry in Wales.

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