Welsh lamb targets Canada
Published:  18 July, 2011

Welsh lamb has lined up Canada as a premium market ripe for exploration, after research by Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) showed a growing demand for the product.

HCC are keen to tap into the potential of the Canadian markets as part of a strategy to broaden the market for Welsh lamb worldwide and provide new business opportunities for farmers and processing companies across the principality.

HCC Chairman Dai Davies said: “In many cases we are pushing at an open door when it comes to new export opportunities.

“Welsh Lamb has a well-earned reputation as a premium quality product, and as such it is a much sought-after commodity in an ever-increasing number of countries.

“Our market research has identified Canada as a potential new market for Welsh Lamb and it is now up to us and our partners in the processing companies to work together to turn this dream into reality.”

Figures show that the Canadians consume more than 34m kgs of lamb a year, but just over half of that is produced domestically - the remainder is imported from New Zealand, Australia and the USA. However with tightening global supply and demand rising, opportunities are increasing for the Welsh market to tap into this market. 

Earlier this year, HCC sought clearance for Welsh processing plants to export to Canada.  The Canadian authorities have now granted export health certificates. A trade delegation is now expected.

HCC’s Market Development Manager Laura Dodds said: “There is a growing appetite in Canada for lamb as an alternative to other red meats, currently led by demand amongst immigrant groups from South Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

“In addition, long-standing Canadian citizens with a traditional taste for lamb have combined with new immigrants to create a steady rise in demand.”

Exports of Welsh Lamb were worth more than £111m to the UK economy last year. Although the largest export markets still lie within mainland Europe, the fastest growing sales were to the Far East, with exports of Welsh Lamb to Hong Kong rising by 35% and Singapore increasing by 80%.

A recent trade delegation from China has also opened up the possibility of new and valuable trade developing with China.

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