Virtual conferencing supporting lamb supply chain

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Video conferencing has allowed the Welsh sheep industry to collaborate during the COVID-19 pandemic
Video conferencing has allowed the Welsh sheep industry to collaborate during the COVID-19 pandemic

Related tags coronavirus

Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) has helped to foster supply chain collaboration during the COVID-19 pandemic through a series of virtual workshops.

Using video conferencing programmes such as Teams and Zoom, HCC brought representatives of Wales’s largest processors together with producers, to discuss key factors such as trends in consumer demand, extending lamb shelf-life, carcase classification and reducing supply-chain waste to improve sustainability.

From December to the early part of 2021, more than a dozen sessions allowed members of the industry to exchange information at a time where COVID-19 made communication difficult.

Regular training workshops

HCC industry development executive James Ruggeri said: “HCC regularly organises training workshops at abattoirs to help foster a greater understanding between farmers and processors and ensure that what we’re producing in Wales meets the consumer’s wants.

“During the COVID period it’s vital that we keep that dialogue going, especially as we’ve seen ongoing shifts in consumer trends. We were really pleased with how many farmers took part.

“The workshops provided a platform for scores of farmers to be part of really interesting discussions and will help the industry’s ongoing work on key issues such as reducing waste and increasing the shelf-life of lamb.”

New session in the spring

HCC will be organising further sessions over video conferencing later in the spring after lambing time.

Many aspects of normal life have been disrupted by COVID-19, but meat in the retail market has proved resilient and adaptable, standing strong throughout the vicissitudes of 2020 and beyond.

In this exclusive feature,​ we explore the continued popularity of beef, lamb, pork and poultry products despite the hurdles presented by the pandemic and the changing habits and emerging trends that have changed the recipe for success.

Meanwhile, support service Project Helix has made a £161m positive impact on the Welsh food and drink sector​ since its launch, according to Food Innovation Wales (FIW).

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