Progress is being made to resolve the inequality that exists in way that the UK’s meat promotion bodies are funded, it was revealed at the Royal Welsh Show today.
Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) is the body responsible for promoting Welsh Lamb, Welsh Beef and pork from Wales – but it is currently losing out to the tune of about £1 million a year due to the way that the levy paid by farmers and processors is distributed.
“The current GB red meat levy mechanism distributes levy in a way which is disproportionate to livestock production activity across England, Scotland and Wales,” said HCC Chairman Dai Davies. “Any red meat levy collected at abattoirs in England, Scotland or Wales is used by the red meat body in that country regardless of where the animal originated from.
“The current distribution mechanism is entirely dependent on the geography of the abattoirs and not on the origin of the livestock.”
It means that if livestock are born and reared on a Welsh farm but slaughtered in an abattoir outside Wales, the levy money is not returned to Wales.
“We have been in detailed discussions about the inequity of the current situation with our colleagues in partner organisations across Britain.
“I am pleased to report that we are making some progress because there is an acknowledgement that an inequality exists and that a solution must be found.
“Discussions are continuing and I hope that a consultation process with stakeholders about possible alternatives will begin in the not too distant future.
“HCC is losing out by about £1 million a year due to the current levy distribution system. Reversing this shortfall would ensure that Welsh farmers will feel that their levy money is being invested in an appropriate way in line with their needs and aspirations,” said Mr Davies.