Speaking at the food event Anuga in Cologne, Germany, HCC chief executive Gwyn Howells said Welsh meat was driving UK exports in the red meat category.
“Despite the uncertainty of Brexit, we’re seeing growth in the overseas trade for Welsh red meat,” he said. “The value of UK lamb exports was up by 25% in the first half of 2017 compared with last year and, as the recognised premium brand, PGI [protected geographical indication] Welsh lamb is playing a major role in driving this growth.”
‘Despite the uncertainty of Brexit’
HCC is attending the show to promote Welsh lamb and beef at a dedicated stand in Anuga’s meat hall.
It is also hosting an event today (Monday October 9), where the Welsh government cabinet secretary for environment and rural affairs Lesley Griffiths will emphasise the importance of exports for the Welsh food industry.
“HCC and our major processors have been successful in growing trade in Europe,” Howells continued.
“Particularly encouraging is the new business in the premium foodservice industry; a major Italian wholesale chain has begun Welsh Lamb promotions, a high-end Swiss catering supplier has expanded its range of Welsh red meat; and Welsh Lamb will soon be in the own-label premium range of one of Germany’s largest foodservice operators.
Relied on a Brexit trade deal
However, the success of Welsh beef and lamb exports relied on a Brexit trade deal that supported the industry, warned Howells.
“This business must be secured and not put at risk, so the easiest possible access to European markets is what the industry is hoping for after Brexit, as well as continuity of the PGI status enjoyed by Welsh lamb and Welsh beef.”
Exports of UK beef, lamb and pork were worth more than £500M in the first half of this year, up 18% year-on-year, according to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.
Meanwhile, the Food Manufacture Group is staging a one-day conference, dedicated to boosting food and drink exports at the Ardencote Manor in Warwickshire on February 8. See box below for more details.
New food export conference
Our new Food export conference will take place on February 8 2018 at the Ardencote Manor, Warwickshire. The one-day event will arm delegates with the latest advice on how to boost food and drink exports and is aimed at businesses starting out on an export journey, as well as those companies seeking expansion in new global markets.
More information, including the early-bird ticket offer, is available here. The event is being organised by the Food Manufacture Group and sister titles British Baker and Meat Trades Journal.