Welsh body reports on positive visit to Norway

A recent Welsh trade mission to Norway was “extremely positive” and could lead to increased exports of lamb to the country, reported Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC).

Led by the deputy minister for farming and food, Rebecca Evans AM, and HCC, the diplomatic visit included a number of meetings with Norwegian government decision-makers, meat importers and retailers.

HCC’s chief executive Gwyn Howells said: “The discussions held with key members of the Norwegian meat industry were informative and very productive. Norway is not self-sufficient in lamb and its season is short. The country relies on imports to meet the demand of Norwegian consumers whose traditional diet includes lamb.

“The visit was an important opportunity for us to boost the profile of Welsh Lamb, gain a further understanding of Norway’s trade and market requirements and discuss export arrangements, which are currently governed by tariffs. We also reaffirmed the high standard of Wales’ production methods, animal health and welfare, which are in line with Norwegian food policy.

“The response we received was extremely encouraging. We will remain in close contact with the deputy minister in order to continue the dialogue and monitor progress.”

Scandinavia has become an increasingly important export market for Welsh Lamb, due to a large demographic base of consumers, declining domestic lamb production, relatively close proximity to Wales and good internal distribution systems, according to HCC.

Sales to Scandinavia have increased significantly in recent years, and there could be further growth if tariffs are altered. HCC anticipates that 1,300 tonnes of Welsh Lamb, to the value of £10.4 million, could be exported to Norway alone.

Rebecca Evans said: “Norway is an important and valued export destination for Welsh Lamb, so this mission was a good opportunity for us to learn about any barriers that could be preventing further exports.

“I am grateful for the welcome afforded to our delegation by the Norwegian government and hope that these talks lead to a continued healthy and productive relationship between our two nations.”

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