Giving a keynote address to the Welsh Government’s major ‘Taste Wales’ event in Celtic Manor tonight (Thursday, 23 March), Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) chairman Dai Davies will say that Wales’s food and drink industry can compete with anyone in the world on the basis of its high quality.
The Taste Wales event has been organised as an opportunity to invite the global food industry to come to Wales to experience what the nation has to offer, from speciality items for niche markets to high volume items for major distribution networks. HCC is a major sponsor of the networking dinner at the event, where Welsh food producers will meet buyers from UK supermarkets, the food service sector and overseas importers.
Mr. Davies, who is retiring from his role with HCC at the end of March after six years at the helm, will say: “There’s no substitute for welcoming the world here to Wales. Whenever we bring buyers, journalists and chefs here to sample our lamb, beef and pork – from other parts of Britain, Europe, the Far East and North America – our country speaks for itself eloquently.
“Red meat exports are a home-grown success story. In the space of a decade from 2004, the value of exports of Welsh Lamb grew from £57 million a year to £133 million. PGI Welsh Lamb can be found in supermarkets and the finest restaurants from London to Hong Kong, and from Dubai to Toronto. It’s loved by consumers in dozens of countries worldwide, and is in demand from even more.”
Mr. Davies will conclude by addressing the political change on the horizon: “Our industry has faced challenges before. We’ve adapted and redoubled our efforts. As we face change, the key thing to remember is that there’s always a market for quality. Wales is a nation which has outstanding food and drink in terms of sustainability, welfare, and most of all quality. Our produce can be a symbol of Welsh craftsmanship and values – at home and abroad.”