The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, has approved the first annual monitoring report of the red meat sector in meeting the goals set out in the industry wide ‘Twenty Twenty Vision’ strategic action plan.
The plan, launched by the then Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Rebecca Evans, in July 2015, lays out a series of targets, all aiming towards the overall goal of an efficient and sustainable red meat industry which benefits the people of Wales, and is capable of responding competitively to ever-changing market needs.
The monitoring report, published on the websites of the Welsh Government and Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), shows that progress has been made and foundation laid for the first year of this five year programme, but that the action plan will need to be monitored in light of Brexit discussions and other challenges facing the Welsh red meat industry.
Highlights include work by HCC to analyse potential new overseas markets for PGI Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef and working with key UK retailers to promote the availability of Welsh meat, as well as the delivery of knowledge transfer programmes through Farming Connect’s Agrisgôp and Agri Academy programmes, and HCC’s supply chain training workshops at abattoirs.
HCC Corporate Strategy Manager Julie Finch said; “The red meat sector is hugely important to the Welsh economy. Lamb, beef and pork producers account for over half of agricultural holdings, and the industry is worth around £600m a year.
“This five-year industry-wide action plan was developed by Welsh Government, HCC and the sector as a whole working together, and identifies two complementary targets; increasing demand for Welsh red meat products, and improving production efficiency whilst maintaining Wales’s environment and landscape.
“This first year of progress monitoring has been about establishing benchmarks against which success can be measured. Actions will be reviewed and prioritised to ensure the livestock industry is best equipped to meet challenges ahead. The new context after the Brexit vote means it’s more important than ever that the industry is flexible and competitive to be able to respond to changing markets.”
The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said:
“I welcome the progress made in delivering the outcomes of the Twenty Twenty Vision. The collaborative working across Wales is critical in moving this industry forward to a position where it can be competitive in a global market.
“It’s important this action plan remains relevant and fit for purpose in light of the decision to leave the EU. These actions will need to be reviewed and prioritised to ensure we are in the best position to achieve a prosperous and resilient red meat industry in Wales.”