Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) is pushing its efforts to promote the excellence of Wales’ red meat industry overseas.
Three visits for European buyers of red meat have been arranged in recent weeks, which came to fruition as a result of the contacts made during foreign meetings and events.
Further relationships will be formed during two trade shows that HCC will be attending over the coming week – TuttoFood in Italy and HOFEX in Hong Kong.
Two inward missions involved wholesalers and a supermarket buying group from the Netherlands. The wholesalers visited a major processing plant for a site tour, which included viewings of the lamb line, followed by farm visits and an opportunity to sample the product.
Welsh Beef was the focus of the second Dutch visit. The supermarket buyers called at a different farm and processing and packaging plant for an all-inclusive taster of the industry.
“The inward missions were very successful and the representatives were in awe of the Welsh landscape and efficiency of the processing plants,” said Laura Pickup, HCC Market Development Manager. “They were also very impressed with the taste and tenderness of the meat.
“This was evident amongst the wholesalers, which included representatives from a premium cash and carry outlet, as they have since decided to replace their current supplies of lamb with Welsh Lamb.”
Connections with a major German retailer were also strengthened as they were led on a guided tour of an abattoir to develop and affirm their understanding and support for both Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef. They attended a cookery school for an opportunity to turn their hand to cooking the versatile meat.
Mrs Pickup added: “It is apparent that excitement for our red meat is growing across Europe. This is good news for the sector as it provides new avenues for sales. We are very confident that these inward missions will produce positive results.”
HCC is also looking to engage with counterparts across the globe at two major events held over the coming week.
TuttoFood is a trade show in Milan attended by Italian importers, buyers for national and international retailers, HORECA sector representatives, wholesalers, distributors, chefs and the media.
Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef will be on display during the event which has an Italian customer focus and attracts exhibitors from all over the world. Samples of the meat will be available on the HCC stand for prospective customers to savour.
Exporters from Wales will also attend in order to liaise with new and existing contacts.
They will accompany HCC to the HOFEX trade show too. Held in Hong Kong, it is considered Asia’s leading food and hospitality show and is the largest ever in its history. It will provide a platform for promoting Welsh Lamb and connecting with 40,000 regional buyers.
“It is important that we attend large-scale trade shows so as to maintain exposure and increase awareness of the Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef brands,” said Alex James, HCC’s Export Market Development Officer. “We are also able to gain insight into foreign markets, which is beneficial to us when planning the promotion of our products overseas.”