Welsh red meat exports from Wales hit £240m mark

The value of exports of Welsh red meat and associated products rose to £240m in 2011 according to new figures released by Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).

The Welsh meat promotion body say that this is growing evidence that Welsh meat is recognised as a global brand in its own right.

Beef and lamb exports alone accounted for £200m, a rise of nearly £53m, with Welsh Beef sales abroad increasing from  £35m to £67m over the past year. An additional £40m came from the export of fifth quarter products, sheep skins and cattle hides.  

Dai Davies, chairman of HCC, described the rise as a “staggering” achievement which came as a result of an aggressive marketing campaign which emphasised Welsh lamb and beef as a premium product.  

He said: “Exports have proven to be of enormous benefit to the Welsh red meat industry, pumping much needed earnings into the under-pressure Welsh economy.”

“The huge boost in the value of exports has been fuelled by an increased demand from established markets in Europe coupled with the opening up of new opportunities in Scandinavia and Canada.

“HCC is also pressing ahead with efforts to export our products to China, Russia and the United States.”

“Welsh Lamb is now a global brand, known throughout the world for its quality and superior taste. It not only represents all that is best about our farming industry - it also flies the flag for Wales across the world.

Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and European Programmes, Alun Davies, said that the Welsh Government remained committed to strengthening the Welsh food industry and promoting Welsh meat. He said: “This is a fantastic achievement, and these figures are so important to our economy in a difficult time. Welsh meat is a symbol of Welsh identity and part of our culture, and I am so proud that this top quality product is being enjoyed all over the world.

However, HCC also announced a new advertising campaign for the domestic market, where the majority of red meat produced in Wales is consumed.

The ‘Quality Time’ campaign will be spread across television and national consumer magazines as well as online activity. Recipe booklets, posters and other point-of-sale material will be used to promote sale in the multiple retailers as well as independent butchers’ shops.

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