Teamwork Key but Fair Play Rules - HCC Chairman

Hybu Cig Cymru is all about teamwork - but for it to succeed, everyone in the team has to play their part to the utmost and it was vital supermarkets played a full part in stocking and promoting PGI branded Welsh Lamb products, Chairman Dai Davies told HCC’s conference last Thursday.

“For a sustainable and profitable future for all, every part of the supply chain must deliver for Wales. Farmers, processors - and retailers,” he said. “It is vital that our local butcher’s shops and, crucially, our supermarket outlets, step up to the plate and stock, promote and sell our PGI branded products.

“We understand the nature of the global marketplace and how it can affect commodity prices - but an underlying belief must be that a fair price for all is essential for long term stability.”

Mr. Davies told the Llandrindod Wells conference that bringing people together was the raison d’etre of Hybu Cig Cymru. “From the smallest farm to the biggest retailer, HCC’s role is to unite the red meat supply chain, to make more of the whole than the individual parts can deliver alone.

“HCC can draw on tremendous expertise from across the supply chain. It is the industry’s knowledge house; it’s strategic home. HCC is the industry’s umbrella; it is farming’s family.”

Mr. Davies said the Welsh industry had been badly buffeted by global turbulence in recent months. “Exchange rates - the value of the Euro and the New Zealand dollar - have acted against us. Imports have become cheaper and the export prices of our own products have become more expensive as a consequence. Supply fluctuations and market manoeuvrings have allowed these cheaper imports, principally from New Zealand, to bully our premium, PGI branded products for the prime places on the supermarket shelves.”

He thanked the industry for its great support of HCC’s marketing efforts during these months of price fluctuations. “Believe me, this industry understands teamwork. When things got tough in the summer, the tough got going. Farmers, processors and consumers backed HCC’s marketing efforts across Wales. They were aware that collective responsibility for maximising mutual benefit is the only way to go forward.”

Mr. Davies said that HCC’s work on behalf of, and in support of, the supply chain - with the invaluable backing of the Welsh Government and the additional resources from European funding - has helped to develop internationally recognised branded products with added value that had helped to push back against falling prices.

“As we move towards 2016, and more inevitable market volatility, HCC’s cross-industry support and marketplace experience will enable work towards the maximum returns for all of the resources available to combat and better the expected volatilities of the global marketplace.”