A two year project linking tourism with healthy eating and local food production in Wales has been hailed a success in an independent report.
The Welsh Red Meat Roadshow visited locations across Wales, giving cooking demonstrations to tourists and providing them with healthy eating advice and information about the clean, green production methods employed by the country’s farmers.
The aim of the project was to encourage tourists, both from within and outside Wales, to eat a balanced diet and show how easy and convenient it is to cook with red meat.
As well as a glossy booklet titled Out and About highlighting Wales’ rich cultural heritage and mouth-watering recipes, visitors were offered a list of butchers and retailers in each location who sold Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef, as well as the names of restaurants serving Welsh produce.
The project, which was funded by the Rural Development Plan 2007-13, was run by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales.
An independent evaluation into the impact of the Welsh Red Meat Roadshow, has produced the following results following a series of surveys conducted with people who attended the events.
- Awareness of what Protected Geographical indication (PGI) stands for increased from 25 per cent to 63 per cent. (PGI is a European protected food designation and means that only sheep and cattle born and reared in Wales and processed in HCC-approved abattoirs and cutting plants can legally be described as Welsh Lamb or Welsh Beef).
- 62 per cent said their awareness of the nutritional benefits of red meat had increased as a result of the project.
- More than 65 per cent stated they now intended to purchase Welsh meat more frequently.
- 45 per cent said they would now take the country of origin into consideration when buying red meat – an increase of 13.5 per cent over the initial figure.
- 19 per cent said they were now consuming red meat more often following the project.
- 92 per cent described the glossy ‘Out and About’ recipe book that was given away free during the tour as useful.
The report, compiled by Brookdale Consulting Ltd, concluded that there was potential for more work to further educate the public and highlight the links between Welsh red meat, the country’s heritage and culture and tourism.
“This is an excellent report and shows that the work we carried out in tourist areas was worthwhile,” said HCC Chief Executive Gwyn Howells. “The response we had from tourists has been amazing, and proves there is a desire among the public for more information about red meat, the methods of production employed in Wales and the way that farming has shaped the rural environment and culture of Wales.”
The locations visited by the Welsh Red Meat Roadshow during its two year tour around Wales included Cardiff, Swansea, St Asaph, Aberystwyth, Llangollen, Abergavenny, Porthcawl, Tenby, Portmeirion, and Newport.