Wales looks to capitalise on buoyant German meat trade

As the red meat industry looks forward to 2018, Welsh levy body Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) is at work consolidating recent success for PGI Welsh Lamb in the vital German market.

Currently, Wales exports around a third of its lamb production to the European Union each year, with Germany an increasingly important destination. HMRC figures on trade showed that UK lamb exports to Germany jumped by 29% in the first half of 2017.

As well as reflecting a range of broad factors such as movements in the exchange rates over the past 18 months, the trade statistics suggest that measures to market Welsh Lamb in the giant German foodservice sector are paying dividends.

HCC is currently into the final phase of a three-year EU-funded programme to raise awareness and sales of PGI Welsh Lamb in Germany. Key to the strategy has been targeting the country’s wholesalers and foodservice sector.

The meat sector is the largest segment of Germany’s food and drink industry, worth around 40 billion Euro. Germans consume a relatively high 60kg of meat per year.

“This autumn has been an incredibly busy time in supporting our growing number of Welsh Lamb customers in the German market,” said HCC in-market agent Patricia Czerniak.

“We took part at the MLF trade conference in Aachen, showcasing PGI Welsh Lamb in front of a key audience of high-end independent retailers from right across Germany,” said Patricia, “and also supported foodservice operators who have recently expanded their range of Welsh Lamb, including at a major fair in Düsseldorf.”

“We are delighted at the success that PGI Welsh Lamb is currently enjoying in Germany,” explained Patricia Czerniak. “By now, a number of key distributors offer Welsh red meat to their customers, including Transgourmet, Frische Paradies, Havelland Express and Schwamm & Cie mbh.”

“Significantly, many of these listings are in premium ranges, showing a demand for a range of cuts from high-end restaurants,” she added. “Some of these companies also operate in other countries too, offering a way into Central and Eastern Europe for Welsh Lamb. So long as free and unfettered trade can be maintained after Brexit in 2019, the future is bright for Welsh red meat in Germany and central Europe.”