HCC outlines ambitious five-year targets for Welsh red meat industry

Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) has set out ambitious new five-year targets, encouraging all sectors of the Welsh red meat industry to secure a viable long-term future. 

Compiled by HCC, the document, entitled Twenty Twenty Vision, was launched in Cardiff by Deputy Minister for Farming and Food Rebecca Evans.

The aim is to encourage all sectors of the Welsh red meat industry – including farmers, processors, retailers, auctioneers and the Welsh Government – to work together to grow Welsh red meat.

“This strategic action plan is a completely new document, which takes a fresh approach to the future of the red meat industry in Wales,” said HCC chairman Dai Davies.

“It is firmly focussed on producing tangible outcomes that we believe will benefit farmers, processors and retailers if they collaborate to achieve a common aim.”

He continued: “2020 Vision sets out the work that is needed by everyone to further develop the supply chain – for producers to improve efficiency and reduce costs; for processors to use the latest technology to streamline production; and for retailers to get behind them and fully support their efforts.”

The document set out a number of objectives:

• By the year 2020, the industry should increase Welsh red meat sales by 34% to £776 million a year
• Welsh red meat export should increase 41% to £134m by 2020
• On-farm output should increase by 7% at the least to £31.5m
• The turnover of the Welsh food and farming sector overall should improve by at least 14% to £6.5bn a year
• Annual sales of Welsh red meat within the UK foodservice should reach £42m, an increase of 17%
• New and innovative Welsh red meat products should be developed, allowing the industry to better meet consumer demand.
• The proportion of lamb and prime cattle meeting standard market requirements should increase
• The number of lambs marketed in superlight and light categories should decrease by 17%, which would result in an annual increase in income
• The number of lambs reared per ewe should be increased by 6%, while the average weight of lambs should increase by 10% to 56kg, resulting in a potential increase of total farm output by £22m annually
• The average calving interval ought to be decreased 4%, while the average weight of weaned beef produced per cow ought to be increased 8%, allowing for a possible increase of £6.2m annually for the total farm output on beef farms.

Evans said: “This launch sets in place a long-term campaign: a campaign to make Wales’ agricultural industry more prosperous and more resilient; and a campaign which, if successful, will see our farms continue to modernise and deliver widespread benefit to Wales as a whole.

“The red meat sector is a major part of the food and drink industry, which together is worth £5.2bn to the Welsh economy. It is the backbone of upland farms and the beef sector is tightly linked with the dairy sector.”

Davies concluded: “I’m delighted that all sectors of the supply chain have signed up to support this document, which is a blueprint for a vibrant and profitable future for all.”

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