October sees Paris export push for Welsh produce

Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC)’s red meat export efforts were focused on Paris last week, with a major presence at the giant SIAL trade fair as well as Welsh Lamb promotional tastings in French supermarkets.

SIAL is a Mecca for food traders and importers from across the world. There was a constant supply of succulent samples on hand to tempt the traders to HCC’s stand where a specialist team of export agents were present to link Welsh exporters with influential importers.

The HCC stand was also the venue for a speech by the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM, who hailed the success of the crucial Welsh food and drink sector in boosting business.

Meanwhile, outside the enormous trade show, Welsh Lamb tastings were on offer in selected French supermarkets, along with a promotion offering consumers the chance to win a holiday to Wales.

“The SIAL trade fair is one of the largest in the world, so it’s crucial that Wales had a strong presence,” said Rhys Llywelyn, HCC’s Market Development Manager. “We had a very busy week hosting Welsh meat processors and importers from Europe and as far afield as Canada and Hong Kong, and were delighted that the Cabinet Secretary could attend to show her support.”

“Approximately 35% of sheep meat and 13% of beef produced in Wales is exported overseas,” he added. “Therefore, it’s vital that we continue to promote our iconic PGI Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef brands, both to importers at trade fairs, and directly to consumers through supermarket promotions.”

The Cabinet Secretary said: “I was delighted to be at SIAL, proudly flying the flag for Wales’ food and drink industry alongside and 15 of our finest producers and Hybu Cig Cymru.

“Our presence at SIAL is part of our overall commitment to grow the Welsh food & drink industry by 30% by 2020. Already, in 2016 our exports are up 12.8% compared to the same period last year so we are well on our way to reaching that target.

“Despite the challenges ahead, not least our impending withdrawal from the EU, we will continue to promote our world class food and drink around the world with the aim of developing new, lucrative markets.”