Welsh take lamb sector lead in Italy

PGI Welsh Lamb is now the market leader in the category in Italy, according to Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) – Meat Promotion Wales’ Italian agent Jeff Martin.

Speaking at the HCC Annual Conference in Llanelli on Thursday (13 November), Martin said that Welsh Lamb had been a real success story in the country, with its PGI accreditation ensuring it was seen as a quality product by Italians.

Sardinian lamb, which used to be the most desired sheep meat on the peninsula, has suffered due to accreditation fraud, he explained, and now PGI Welsh Lamb has overtaken it.

He told conference delegates that lamb consumption is low in Italy, but that Welsh Lamb is now “forging ahead”. “We are now the most well-known brand of lamb in Italy. In fact, we are increasing our market share steadily, and we are increasing our penetration thanks to the PGI scheme. The PGI aspect guarantees a certain quality to the Italian consumer. It is the premium product,” he said.

The future looks bright too, Martin added, as from next year greater traceability is being introduced on labels in Italy, making it mandatory for producers to be declared. This will mean all PGI Welsh Lamb will be labelled as such without exception, improving its visibility on shelves.

Martin said Welsh processors were streets ahead of those in Italy, as well as explaining other ways in which Welsh PGI Lamb had an advantage: “We have a constant product with constant quality throughout the season and, historically, it has a constant price. We have the promotional body, and the cherry on top is the PGI. Due to the change of law next year, we have such a winning product.”

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