Smith has served on Wales’s red meat levy board since 2017 and will draw on her farming background in Monmouthshire and 20 years' experience as a food business specialist advising companies throughout the red meat supply chain.
She stressed that, while COVID-19 and Brexit had posed challenges in recent months, Wales’s lamb, beef and pork sectors were in a strong position to deliver what the modern consumer wanted. That included high quality food, traceable from farm to fork, with impeccable credentials of sustainability and welfare.
“I’m proud to take over as chair of HCC at this vital time for the food and farming industry, and I’m looking forward to working with Gwyn Howells and his executive team to deliver for our stakeholders,” said Smith.
'More competitive, more efficient'
“I see all parts of the industry on a daily basis – at home on our mixed sheep and arable farm and working with supply chain businesses to make them more competitive, more efficient and able to attract and retain new and existing customers. HCC is an industry-led body which encompasses the whole supply chain, and I see the closest collaboration of all links in the chain as vital.”
“We’re a small country, but we can punch well above our weight with a unified approach,” she added. “HCC has been agile in leading our industry response to the challenges that Covid and Brexit have brought – helping to increase domestic retail sales and retaining export markets despite the uncertainty of the past four years."
HCC would now push ahead with its Vision 2025 blueprint, helping the domestic foodservice sector to rebuild after the pandemic, while expanding into new and promising markets, and delivering HCC's Red Meat Development Programme.
“Wales has the potential to lead the world in sustainable lamb and beef production,” she said. “HCC’s ‘Welsh Way’ report showed that we already produce food far more sustainably than many other countries. We can get even better and lead the world in this area. This is what our customers demand and we’re in a great position to meet this challenge.”