Foreign interest in Welsh Lamb revealed

Details of recent trade missions to Wales from foreign retailers, importers and journalists interested in Welsh Lamb were revealed today (1 December) at the Royal Welsh Show by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).

The organisation said that two separate visits had been arranged for Norwegian and Danish retailers and importers, who were keen to examine how everything operated at one of Wales’ major processing plants. The visitors were given a tour of the site, and were also shown around a local farm to see the lambs in their natural environment. The trips concluded with tastings of Welsh Lamb cooked by skilled chefs.

Alex James, HCC’s export market development officer, said: “We had very productive and encouraging meetings with influential foreign customers, who were planning ahead for 2015.

“They were very satisfied with the standard of both the processing plant and local farms, and were very impressed with the flavour and tenderness of the meat. The Norwegian retailers have since decided to focus one of their promotional campaigns in 2015 on Welsh Lamb as sales in their stores have increased substantially since the start of 2014.

“One importer plans to increase the volume of Welsh Lamb they purchase next year. This is obviously excellent news for the industry in Wales.”

Scandinavia has become an important market for PGI Welsh Lamb, with exports to Norway, Denmark and Sweden worth £5 million in 2013, according to HCC.

HCC hosted another trip when a group of Japanese journalists came to the country to give media coverage to Welsh Lamb to a readership of 4.5 million. They visited a sheep farm in Monmouthshire, which was followed by a working lunch.

HCC chairman Dai Davies said: “While we do not currently export to Japan, this was a perfect opportunity to promote Wales’ farming heritage and its natural and sustainable production methods to a new audience. It helped to boost Wales’ profile in advance of when Welsh Lamb is eventually available to purchase in Japan.”

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