“Fantastic business” - that was the endorsement of representatives from five Welsh red meat processing companies and also sales agents from across Europe of HCC’s co-ordinated exhibition presence at last week’s top food show Anuga in Cologne.
Commercial gains were reported back across the board during the five-day show - dubbed by the trade as the “world’s greatest marketplace” - in Cologne.
“Everyone attending has enjoyed what could turn out to be one of the most commercially successful major trade shows ever for the Welsh red meat industry,” saidLaura Pickup, HCC’s Market Development Manager. “On stand we’ve discussed many deals with the Welsh industry team attending, including a new agreement to import Welsh Lamb to southern Italy; a breakthrough providing continuous supply into a major Scandinavian multiple retailer; brand new opportunities to introduce Welsh Lamb into German foodservice, retail and wholesale outlets - and a giant boost to the specialist Halal providers.”
HCC hosted, facilitated and promoted the sales mission of leading processors from all parts of Wales to Anuga, the Cologne-based largest and most important, food show in the world. They played their part in a strategic networking and sales programme over the five days of the show (October 10-14) and achieved their goals of ramping up exports to key territories across Europe and the world in the coming twelve months.
“HCC has made a great effort here to help us and I believe we should do more of this type of work because it is, and would be, really beneficial to our local farmers,” said Mr. Mohammed Akram, owner of Menai Meats, Caernarfon.
“Welsh Lamb is now very popular in Europe and if we go on working together I have no doubts it will lead to great success.”
HCC’s specialist team of European agents helped open the doors for trade representatives from 2 Sisters Food Group, Dunbia, Fairfield Meat Company, Menai Meats and Randall Parker Foods. The processors met importers at a targeted reception hosted by HCC to encourage engagement with the team of exporters.
“Anuga is a great route to market and we’ve had a very, very good interest,” said Graham Penny, Sales Director of Randall Parker Foods. “This show gives us the chance to create and increase our business; it’s a “leapfrog” into, not only Europe, but also the Middle and Far East markets.”
Martin Ostermeyer, Export Manager of 2 Sisters Food Group, Merthyr Tydfil, said the show was “fantastic business. There is a lot of demand, especially for Welsh Lamb, but also for Welsh Beef, from some unusual sources like Finland and Czech Republic, where they seem ready for trying the premium brands.”
Katie Smith, Commercial Manager of Dunbia, Llanybydder, said: “We come every year because this show is so important for us; it brings many new customers every year.”
Jeff Martin, HCC’s agent in Italy was delighted to announce a substantial deal during the show. “A major Italian supermarket chain in southern Italy has agreed to directly import substantial amounts of premium PGI Welsh Lamb and promote it in the build-up to the very important Christmas sales market in Italy,” he said.
“It’s a really exciting and important breakthrough; this is the first time that a chain in southern Italy will be importing PGI Welsh Lamb directly. It proves the HCC presence at this show is absolutely essential and that coming here is really money very well spent.”
Ken Sørensen, HCC’s agent in Scandinavia, agreed, highlighting the successful delivery of a continuous supply of Welsh Lamb with Swedish multiple retailer. “This is a great investment for the future, giving us a much bigger brand presence, utilising press and digital advertising, PR and social media.”
Gains were also reported for branded PGI premium Welsh Lamb by Andre Adolfs, HCC’s agent in the Netherlands, while Patricia Czerniak, HCC’s agent in Germany, who will give a detailed breakdown of the German and Austrian markets at HCC’s annual conference at the Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells, on Thursday, November 12, declared a “big step forward in marketing PGI Welsh Lamb in the German speaking markets had been made in the past week with major buyers of leading foodservice suppliers, retailers and wholesalers.”
More details will emerge over the coming weeks and months of the deals completed or instigated at the well attended trade show, including a potential multiple truck-loads deal enabling Welsh Lamb to be sent to Halal customers every week from a specialist event staged by HCC on the Sunday of the show.
“Anuga plays a central role in influencing the UK’s current near £400 million sheep meat exports each year and it is vital to any exporting nation’s ambitions for the following twelve months,” said Laura Pickup, HCC’s Market Development Manager. “A multi-million pound export bonanza in 2016 for branded PGI Welsh Lamb was the target for Wales’ top red meat exporters and they weren’t disappointed by the response they received.”