Exports up by 22%

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Exports up by 22%

Post by Guest on Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:34 am

The value of Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef exports to European Union countries alone was more than £163.5m in the first 11 months of 2011 – up 22% on the same period in the previous year.

Most was due to Welsh Lamb exports worth more than £119m, up 19%. But Welsh Beef also showed a huge rise, up by 33% to more than £44m during the same period.

The figures were revealed by the First Minister during a visit to a Delhaize supermarket in Brussels, one of the leading retail groups in Europe, where he saw Welsh Lamb on the shelves and talked to senior executives of the firm.

The visit formed part of a day’s activities in the Belgian capital to mark St David’s Day later this week and to celebrate Wales’ success on the European stage.

Dai Davies, chairman of Welsh red meat promotion agency Hybu Cig Cymru, who accompanied the First Minister to the supermarket, said: “Europe is a vital market for Welsh agricultural produce and Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef are big earners for the Welsh economy.

“When the entire red meat chain is taken into account, including farms, processors and retailers, the sector is estimated to be worth in excess of one billion pounds a year.

“Welsh Lamb is a premium brand leader, helping to build Wales’ identity and reputation for fine quality produce on the international stage and opening the door to other Welsh exports.”

The First Minister, who also hosted a reception in Brussels earlier in the day to mark St David’s Day, said: “The European Union is of major economic importance for us in Wales.

“The vast free market it provides gives us barrier free access to 500 million consumers, which directly boosts growth and jobs.

“I want to see a continuing role for the EU in helping us emerge from recession and promote our economy.

“I am determined that the voice of Wales will continue to be heard loud and clear in Brussels as we seek to make sure our communities continue to benefit from membership of the EU.”

Full year export figures for Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef will be compiled by HCC in March.

The March figures will also include exports to the Middle East, Far East and Canada as well as Europe and are predicted to be considerably higher, with 2011 confidently expected to be a record year for Welsh red meat.

Welsh Lamb sales in Belgium during the first 11 months of 2011 were worth almost £10m, up more than 15% over the same period the previous year.

Welsh Beef sales in Belgium were worth more than £2.6m, an increase of almost 53% during the same period.

HCC has also started work on a three-year project worth four million euros, backed by the EU, to promote the benefits of Welsh Lamb’s Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status in France, Italy, Germany and the UK.

Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef are the only Welsh products to date to qualify for PGI status, which guarantees the provenance of food products.

Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/countryside-farming-news/farming-news/2012/02/28/first-minister-carwyn-jones-on-a-visit-to-brussels-sees-at-first-hand-the-record-welsh-meat-exports-to-the-eu-91466-30418481/#ixzz1oKM1IjnH


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