Cabinet Secretary praises retiring HCC Chairman Dai Davies

Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, praised Dai Davies, the retiring Chairman of Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), as a “popular and very well respected leader with a huge breadth of experience” at HCC’s annual conference on Thursday.

Mr. Davies announced he would be standing down from the role next April after more than six years at the helm.

The Cabinet Secretary thanked Mr. Davies for all his sterling work and considerable efforts and achievements over the past six years.

Lesley Griffiths said: “As you all recognise he is a very popular and very well respected leader, recognised for this in the 2010 honours list with an OBE.

“I am sure you all agree that Dai has a huge breadth of experience and if you think I’m going to let you go Dai - that’s not going to happen!  We’ll find something else for you to do going forward.”

Mr. Davies told the conference, at Parc Menai, Bangor, that HCC was “a successful multi-million pound business with a truly global perspective and that now there was a need to refresh HCC’s Board to properly effectively promote the organisation’s ambitions.

“That is why I have decided to hand over the reins in April next year to a new Chair who can take HCC onto the highest level with a reinvigorated Board.”

Mr Davies’ career included a past presidency of the Welsh Dairy Show and past President of NFU Cymru. He’s the Welsh Government appointee for the Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group and Programme Monitoring Committee of the European Structural RDP funds.

The Cabinet Secretary said new HCC Board opportunities would occur in readiness for April and she was particularly keen to encourage women to come forward for the positions. “I have met so many able women over the past six months and I particularly want to encourage women to apply to get a much better gender balance on the Board.”

The Cabinet Secretary added the matter of the repatriation of levy from Welsh animals slaughtered in England back to Wales continued to be a matter which frustrated many “including myself”.

“It needs addressing and it needs to be fair. However, the legislative complexities of achieving the outcomes of the proposals set out by the levy board industry forum should not be underestimated.”

Officials were working with both the Scottish Government and Defra to progress the legislative content required, she added.

The Cabinet Secretary said the European Union referendum result created challenges but also opportunities and we “must be sure that we do grasp them”.

“It is important that we continue to have access to key markets in Europe and that is why the First Minister, my Cabinet colleagues and myself are doing all we can to achieve unfettered and free trade access to those key markets.”