The export trade for Welsh sheep and beef products outdistanced all previous records in 2011 to stand at almost a quarter of a billion pounds. Figures released by Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) on the opening day of the Royal Welsh Show reveal that the value of Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef exports alone, at £200 million, is £53 million higher than the corresponding figure in 2010.
Add to that a further £40 million gained by the Welsh economy through the export of sheep skins, cattle hides and offal, and the total value of exports in 2011 is £240 million.
This was a staggering achievement, and one in which everyone involved with the industry sould feel very proud, Dai Davies, Chairman of red meat promotion agency Hybu Cig Cymru stated. Exports had proven to be of enormous benefit to the Welsh red meat industry, pumping much needed earnings into the under-pressure Welsh economy.
Welsh Beef sales abroad have nearly doubled in a year from £35 million to £67 million, according to Davies. The huge boost in the value of exports had been fuelled by an increased demand from established markets in Europe coupled with the opening up of new opportunities in Scandinavia and Canada.
Welsh Lamb was now a global brand, known throughout the world for its quality and taste. It not only represented all that was best about their farming industry - it also flied the flag for Wales across the world, Davies stated.
But Davies emphasised that while overseas success was something to be celebrated, it was important that the domestic scene was not overlooked. Britain was where the majority of Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef were consumed, which is why HCC were devoting so much time and effort into promoting it.
Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and European Programmes, Alun Davies, said the he was pleased to hear that Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef had reached these record sales.
Source: HCC Wales