News 

Future is bright for Welsh meat exports if a fair deal can be struck on Brexit says HCC Chair

Nov 9 2017

In his opening speech to the Annual Conference of Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) in the Vale Hotel near Cardiff today (Thursday, 9 November), the levy board’s chairman Kevin Roberts has outlined how exports can help deliver a prosperous future for Welsh red meat; but only if the “bump in the road” of Brexit can be successfully negotiated.

Addressing an audience of farmers, processors and policy-makers, Kevin Roberts pointed to global trends which opened the door for Welsh produce.

He said; “Around the globe, there is a substantial growth in meat consumption by an emerging middle class. If our governments can secure access to those markets, the opportunity is there. There are premium markets for foods that can demonstrate their quality and provenance – things that Welsh red meat has in spades.

“Developing existing and new export markets, and capitalising on premium high value segments, will help us get better returns for farmers and processors,” he added. “Evidence shows that the farm gate price increases as exports expand, and exports also allow us to find better markets for offals, skins and hides.”

But Kevin Roberts warned the industry that much depended on the outcome of Brexit negotiations, particularly for the export-dependent lamb sector.

“All the independent analysis suggests that our sheep sector would be very exposed to WTO Tariffs of over 40%. Seasonality and carcase balance mean it’s utterly unrealistic to fully replace lamb exports with increased business in the UK market, even if imports were curtailed,” said Kevin.

“We are developing ambitious plans to develop the industry through to 2025,” he explained, “but as we are all aware, there is a potential bump in the road.” In his opening speech to the Annual Conference of Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) in the Vale Hotel near Cardiff today (Thursday, 9 November), the levy board’s chairman Kevin Roberts has outlined how exports can help deliver a prosperous future for Welsh red meat; but only if the “bump in the road” of Brexit can be successfully negotiated.

Addressing an audience of farmers, processors and policy-makers, Kevin Roberts pointed to global trends which opened the door for Welsh produce.

He said; “Around the globe, there is a substantial growth in meat consumption by an emerging middle class. If our governments can secure access to those markets, the opportunity is there. There are premium markets for foods that can demonstrate their quality and provenance – things that Welsh red meat has in spades.

“Developing existing and new export markets, and capitalising on premium high value segments, will help us get better returns for farmers and processors,” he added. “Evidence shows that the farm gate price increases as exports expand, and exports also allow us to find better markets for offals, skins and hides.”

But Kevin Roberts warned the industry that much depended on the outcome of Brexit negotiations, particularly for the export-dependent lamb sector.

“All the independent analysis suggests that our sheep sector would be very exposed to WTO Tariffs of over 40%. Seasonality and carcase balance mean it’s utterly unrealistic to fully replace lamb exports with increased business in the UK market, even if imports were curtailed,” said Kevin.

“We are developing ambitious plans to develop the industry through to 2025,” he explained, “but as we are all aware, there is a potential bump in the road.” 

Back to news listing
Looking for something specific?
HCC TV