Speaking at yesterday’s Royal Welsh Winter Fair, HCC chair Catherine Smith announced that Welsh lamb was already on its way to Japan and plans were in place to extend the deal in the new year.
“It will be arriving this week and we now have firm plans to build on that with a significant launch into food service businesses in Japan early in the new year,” said Smith.
HCC’s export success in Japan was paired with a further announcement that it had secured another major deal with a European partner as well, in what Smith called a “double Welsh lamb whammy”.
“Our work in the export market has also borne fruit in one of our key European territories, where a new agreement was progressed that could see Welsh Lamb stocked in up to a further 1,000 stores in a major German retail chain,” she explained.
In its latest market report, HCC found that fresh and frozen sheep meat exported during August totalled 6,400 tonnes – an 8% increase on the year. Volumes of sheep meat exported overall during the eight-month period are up 10% on the year, with 94% of the total volume destined for the EU.
Domestic and overseas sales
“Farm total income is more than £600m; we employ just under 50,000 people and of course, many more in the supply chain,” Smith added. “Exports are worth £258m – and you’ve just heard we’re on our way to more in 2024 – and our 8.7 million sheep and 1.1 million cattle produce around 90,000 tonnes of red meat each year.
“These figures show we’re at the head of the Welsh economy but we’re also the heart of the Welsh economy. Our “industry” is an all-embracing term for our majestic patchwork quilt of production, our incredible network of traditional family farms.”
Meanwhile, the UK Government has launched the Dairy Export Programme in a bid to support producers across the country.