HCC: Emblematic red meat brands are pillars of future Welsh industry prosperity

Welsh red meat’s brand reputation is building globally and will help to boost sales and “future-proof our way of life, protect our farms and defend our livelihoods,” the Chair of Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) told industry delegates attending the HCC annual conference in Builth Wells on the beginning of November.

Posted on Nov 17 ,00:05

HCC: Emblematic red meat brands are pillars of future Welsh industry prosperity

"We meet with a new positivity; we are moving from strength to strength", Catherine Smith reported. "Our emblematic brands encompass and reflect the honesty, integrity and wholesomeness of our production process and of our natural food. They are the solid pillars of our future prosperity".

She said the Welsh industry’s sustainability credentials, like its great premium meats, were world-leaders. "Our lamb exports are buoyant; domestic interest is growing. We’re making great progress. With your help and HCC’s team and resourcefulness, our movement is unstoppable".

Catherine Smith stated the Welsh industry was in a strong position because stakeholder levy was linked to inflation, protected against further annual erosion and being spent effectively and wisely. The current lamb campaign mixed traditional TV advertising work with nimble, innovative and multi-platform communications. HCC’s beef campaign - Naturally Local - was also up and running and will crank up approaching the festive season.  Combined, they are expected to reach four million people.

"And they are working. On the marketing front, it's gratifying that we’ve already had an unprecedented response to this dramatically different, contemporary approach", she said. "Last month, at the global showcase Anuga in Cologne, the HCC team reported their busiest show ever with interest from scores of buyers from across Europe, North America and the Far East.

"We are also seeing more demand from UK consumers for high-quality and home-produced beef and for the first eight months of this year, UK sheepmeat export volumes increased year-on-year by twelve per cent from January to August, with product from Wales accounting for a significant proportion of this".

Catherine said that the HCC conference speakers were brilliant industry advocates. "Our keynote speaker, Professor Dr Peer Ederer, is the co-founder of a powerful new group that seeks to help us right the wrongs that have been blighting our industry - the imbalanced narrative of a small, but well-funded, minority who make disproportionate, unrepresentative and inaccurate claims about our work".

She cautioned that to defeat this disinformation, the industry in Wales must also fire many effective slingshots of its own. "Our information must be impeccable to support our case. Years of ground-breaking research and months of evidence-building went into making our branding work robust, persuasive and resilient. But of course, it all rests on the brilliance of our farmers and their unrivalled sustainability credentials that truly authenticate HCC’s "the Welsh Way" of production.

"'Together, empowered by irrefutable evidence and the courage of our convictions, we will win the battle. And together, we can - and will - make Wales a great global leader of this fantastic industry", she concluded.

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