Welsh red meat adds millions to country’s economy

The development of the Welsh red meat brand has led to the contribution of £115m to the country’s economy in the last 10 years.

Such a sum has been achieved, an independent report claimed, as a result of the work carried out by the red meat promotion agency Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC). The report, entitled Flying the Flag, looked at a decade of work carried out by HCC since it was established in 2003.

Released on Tuesday (4 June), the report noted that the work carried out by HCC in the UK and abroad in the last 10 years has added millions of pounds to the value of the Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef brands. It further concluded that, when the farming, processing and retail sectors were all added together, the Welsh red meat industry was valued at £1bn annually.

Exports of Welsh red meat alone are worth £200m a year and the quality of Welsh Lamb is recognised by many of the major multiples, with nearly all of them including it in premium lines.

First Minister for Wales Carwyn Jones, who was the Welsh Government’s Minister for the environment, planning and countryside when HCC was created, said: “I always knew that there was great potential for the Welsh red meat industry to carve out a truly world-class identity for itself. I’m delighted to be here celebrating HCC’s 10th birthday and ongoing success.”

As well as accessing trade across the globe, Welsh red meat is also trying to gain territory in China, Russia and the US. “One of the reasons that Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef have been so successful in these overseas markets – apart from their superior taste and quality – is the fact that both have Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status from the European Commission,” Jones said.

Meanwhile HCC chairman Dai Davies pointed out several “notable achievements” within the sector. He said: “HCC has also succeeded in ensuring that Welsh health authorities only serve PGI Welsh Beef, and that many local authorities only put PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef on their menus.

“HCC has worked closely with farmers and processors, targeting key challenges facing the industry to improve productivity and therefore the quality of the products produced.”

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