Welsh Lamb prospects are on the up

Export prospects for Welsh Lamb in the European market is positive, according to red meat promotion authority Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).

But restrictions on exports need to be lifted so that meaningful volumes can be exported to Europe once again.

It said that Welsh Lamb exporters are in daily contact with influential buyers in European countries, that include France, Italy and the Benelux countries, where they are eager to resume normal export activity immediately so that quality PGI Welsh Lamb can be enjoyed by their customers once again.

Although the export of red meat products from the UK resumed on 12 October 2007, following the ban as a result of the Foot and Mouth disease outbreak in Surrey, it is subject to very strict conditions.

HCC's optimism comes following a presence at the International Anuga Food Fair in Cologne, Germany last month where positive contacts were forged with buyers from 12 countries that expressed an interest in purchasing Welsh Lamb.

Positive signals have been received from the southern European light lamb markets in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy, where discussions are continuing with key buyers.

Gwyn Howells, chief executive of HCC said: "The interest shown in Welsh Lamb by European buyers is evidence of its reputation as a quality product and the strong relationship that has been forged over the last few years.

"It is high time that the restrictions imposed on the export of meat were relaxed so that Welsh Lamb can be made available to the European consumer.

Howells continued: "This will also provide a much needed market for the smaller 8-14 kilo lambs that are produced in Wales and bring some balance back to the domestic market. HCC is doing everything that we can to recover the export market for Welsh Lamb."

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