Trade mission to Norway delivers promising results

Jan 16 2015

Discussions throughout a recent trade mission to Norway were extremely positive and in favour of increased exports of Welsh Lamb into the country.

The diplomatic visit, led by the Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, Rebecca Evans AM and Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), included a series of meetings with influential decision makers from the Norwegian government, meat importers and retailers.

“The discussions held with key members of the Norwegian meat industry were informative and very productive,” said Gwyn Howells, HCC’s Chief Executive. “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 current 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.”

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

“I have total confidence in Welsh Lamb and am committed to investing in the future of Welsh farming to ensure we maintain the quality of excellent products such this one.

“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.”

Scandinavian countries are important export markets for Welsh Lamb as they have a large demographic base of consumers, a declining domestic lamb production, relatively close proximity to Wales and good internal distribution systems.

A significant increase in Scandinavian sales of Welsh Lamb has been witnessed in recent years, and exports into Norway in particular could be further expedited if tariffs were altered. It is anticipated that 1300 tonnes of Welsh Lamb, to the value of £10.4 million, could be exported to this country alone.

In November 2014, the Deputy Minister for Farming and Food announced a funding boost of €4,100,000 – or just over £3,214,000 – for HCC to promote the qualities that led to Welsh Lamb being awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status by the European Commission.

The three year programme, co-financed by Europe and HCC, enables the promotion of Welsh Lamb in Sweden and Denmark. It will also be promoted in Germany and Italy along with Welsh Beef.

The coveted PGI status, which was awarded to Welsh Lamb in 2003, is of enormous economic importance when marketing the product abroad. 

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