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Monitoring report highlights effective industry cooperation

Dec 18 2014

An action plan designed to secure a viable long term future for the Welsh red meat industry is continuing to hit its targets.

The annual monitoring report of the Strategic Action Plan for the Welsh Red Meat Industry has concluded that Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales, the Welsh Government and industry partners cooperate effectively to deliver results.

The five year strategy was launched in 2009. A new strategic plan is currently being developed and it is due to be launched in 2015.

The current strategy’s aim is to secure a profitable, efficient, sustainable and innovative Welsh red meat industry able to respond competitively to ever changing market trends in the UK and across the world to the benefit of the people of Wales.

The annual monitoring report for 2013-14 has now been published giving an update on how work is progressing.

Rebecca Evans AM, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, said:“This year’s report shows good progress is being made in achieving our aims for a secure and profitable industry in Wales, particularly in relation to improving consumer perception.

“However, as we have seen in recent months, real challenges exist across many parts of the Welsh food industry. That is why I organised an event last month which brought together key organisations to help find a way of creating more favourable conditions for the Welsh beef sector.

“I will continue to work with HCC and businesses across the supply chain to encourage greater provision of Welsh lamb and beef in our shops and on our dinner tables.”

HCC Chairman Dai Davies said: “I am pleased with the results of the work that has been completed so far, but it is important that we do not relax. The market place is constantly changing, and everyone in the red meat sector must be prepared to adapt to meet the needs of the consumer.

“That’s why this strategic action plan is so important – it is a living document, examined on an annual basis to ensure that it is fit for purpose and meets the needs of the entire red meat supply chain right through to the customer.”

The following are some of the highlights of the work carried out during 2013-14.

  • Advertising and marketing work has resulted in 81 per cent of consumers in the target region of London and the south-east of England thinking of Welsh Lamb as a premium product.
  • Consumer perception of Welsh Beef as a premium quality product achieved a 90 per cent rating in Wales.
  • More than 90 per cent of independent butchers displayed promotional material for Welsh Lamb, Welsh Beef and pork from Wales that was supplied free of charge by HCC.
  • HCC hosted six inward missions by trade customers from Germany, Italy, France, Denmark and Sweden. HCC and the Welsh Government also undertook exploratory visits to Germany, Switzerland and Russia during the period.
  • All abattoirs and cutting plants that wish to brand Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef are inspected annually.
  • More than 400 farmers received selection for slaughter training, organised by HCC, during 41 sessions at abattoirs.
  • HCC attended 53 meetings to highlight the importance of assessing and understanding herd and flock health, and disseminated technical information to producers during these events.
  • Fifteen studentships – PhD’s and MSc’s – were commissioned by HCC on topics that included climate change mitigation, novel grass varieties and control strategies for cryptosporidium.
  • A feasibility study into the potential to extend the shelf life of Welsh Lamb, supported by major processors, has commenced.
  • A mobile kitchen visited 12 tourist hotspots across Wales over 38 days to enhance the links between tourism and red meat production, encompassing aspects of Welsh culture and environment as well as delivering a healthy eating message. This was funded through the Rural Development Plan for Wales.
  • A sub-group of the Animal Health and Welfare Steering Group has been considering what action can be taken in Wales to tackle Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD), and work has been commissioned to evaluate costs, impact and options.

The full report can be found on the HCC website, http://hccmpw.org.uk/about_hcc/corporate_information/welsh_red_meat_industry_monitoring_reports/

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