UK - The Welsh red meat industry should aim to increase sales by at least 34 per cent to £776 million a year by 2020.
It should also increase its share of Welsh Agricultural Output by at least five per cent to £624 million over the same period.
Together these increases will boost the turnover of the entire Welsh food and farming industry – one of the largest contributors to the Welsh economy - by at least 14 per cent to £6.5 billion in five years’ time.
These are the headline figures contained in an ambitious new strategic action plan for the Welsh red meat industry produced by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales following in-depth discussions with representatives of the entire supply chain as well as the Welsh Government.
“It’s now time for everyone in the industry to have their say about the future direction of the Welsh red meat sector,” said HCC Chief Executive Gwyn Howells.
“I would urge everyone who cares about its future to take part in the consultation process.”
The plan, which started an eight week public consultation exercise this week, aims to build on the success of a previous six year strategy.
“Since the launch of the first strategic action plan in 2009 the Welsh Government, HCC and the red meat sector have worked together to achieve considerable progress towards the vision of creating a profitable, efficient, sustainable and innovative industry,” said Mr Howells.
“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.
“This is an ambitious plan, but I am confident that if the entire industry continues to work closely together we can meet these bold targets.”
Exports of Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef are prime examples of how successful the previous strategic action plan has been to improve business opportunities for farmers and processors in Wales.
The value of sheep meat exports has grown from £109 million in 2009 to almost £155 million in 2013.
Welsh Beef exports have more than doubled over the same period, up from £31 million to more than £69 million thanks to the opening up of new overseas markets and the growing premium reputation of the brands.
Meanwhile Welsh red meat has increased its share of the British retail market by £64 million over a 10 year period.
Improvements in on-farm productivity has been encouraged, leading to better quality red meat products which have helped to underpin supply and added value to the Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef brands.
The priorities in the new strategic action plan are two fold:
• To increase demand for Welsh red meat products, thereby increasing sales and returns;
• To improve production efficiency, thereby increasing quality supply, while maintaining the environment and landscape of Wales.
“These targets can only be met if the entire supply chain – including farmers, processors and retailers – work in harmony to build on our previous success to ensure a long term and viable future for everyone,” said Mr Howells.
TheMeatSite News Desk