Welsh meat industry sets ambitious growth targets
An increase of that significance would put the value of Welsh red meat at £776m a year. It is also keen to increase its share of Welsh agricultural output by at least 5% over the same time period.
The new strategic plan, produced by Welsh red meat body Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), has been put together following in-depth discussions with representatives of the entire supply chain, as well as the Welsh government.
In addition to increasing demand, thereby pushing up sales, the plan also focuses on improving production efficiency.
An eight-week public consultation exercise will now begin, which aims to build on the success of the previous six-year strategy – the first of its kind.
Gywn Howells, HCC chief executive, said: “It’s now time for everyone in the industry to have their say about the future direction of the Welsh red meat sector.”
He urged everyone who cared about the future of the industry to take part in the consultation process.
“In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, it is important that we continue to be dynamic in further developing our industry.
“If we are to safeguard the long-term future of the red meat industry and sustain the sector’s contribution towards a thriving rural economy, then we must embrace the latest production and processing methods to enable us to compete effectively with our rivals."
Since the first strategic plan in 2009, the value of sheepmeat exports has grown from £109m to almost £155m in 2013, while Welsh Beef exports more than doubled from £31m to £69m. Welsh red meat has also increased its share of the British retail market by £64m over a 10-year period.