HCC expands export team ahead of Brexit

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

HCC grows export team
As part of a three-year Welsh government-funded export programme due to get underway in April, Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) has appointed Kate Patten to strengthen its export development team.

Patten’s experience of the food industry stretches from the fork right back to the farm. Her recent work has been in public relations but she was brought up in Cheshire where her family owns a Jersey dairy herd. Having first moved to Ceredigion seven years ago, she now lives on a beef and sheep farm with her partner in Tregaron.

The appointment comes as HCC plans to deliver a three-year £1.2 million enhanced export programme funded by the Welsh Government which was announced by cabinet secretary Lesley Griffiths at the Anuga trade fair last October.

The funding is designed to enable HCC to help the red meat industry cope with the “uncertainty of Brexit”​, by continuing its work in the European market while also supporting processors to explore new opportunities in Canada, the Middle East and Asia.

“Joining HCC is an ideal move for me,”​ said new HCC Export Development Officer Kate Patten. “There’s so much work going on in terms of marketing Welsh red meat to consumers, retailers and distributors.”

“Like many within the organisation I have a practical farming background, so it’ll be great to combine the knowledge of the sustainable way that we in Wales produce quality meat, with my experience of public relations,” she added. “There’s certainly a positive perception of Welsh red meat in the UK and many overseas markets; I look forward to bringing that story to many potential new export customers.”

She will work alongside HCC’s market development manager Rhys Llywelyn and Export Executive Deanna Jones to help Welsh lamb, beef and pork producers to link up with potential overseas customers.

Rhys Llywelyn said: “We’re delighted to have Kate join us to fill an important post within our export team. The £1.2 million Welsh Government export grant, along with extra funding secured through a collaborative agreement with our colleagues in Scotland and England, will allow us to work on several fronts at once – the UK market, existing European countries where our brands are well known, and new opportunities further afield. It’s essential that we do that given the uncertainty over future market access.”

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