Welsh lamb leads drive for exports

The NFU and NFU Cymru have outlined their export strategy to grow the UK’s agri-food exports by 30 per cent by 2030, bringing the total value of UK agri-food exports to over £30billion.

NFU Cymru president Aled Jones said: “The premium quality of British food is recognized all around the world.

“Our iconic products, such as traditional Welsh Caerphilly PGI cheese and PGI Welsh lamb, are not just known for their quality, but the high standards and sustainability they are produced to.

“As we enter a new world where the UK aims to be a major player in global trade, and our farmers will be facing much more competition from imports, now is the time to drive our agri-food exports. There are some fantastic opportunities for Welsh and British farmers in our new trading relationships.

“With an estimated two billion more middle class consumers by 2050, we know there will be an appetite to buy Welsh and British food around the world. Our farmers can offer the quality, innovative and premium products they demand.

“Our farmers are ambitious. We want to work with our governments to increase our agri-food exports by 30 per cent by 2030 and see tangible progress.

“We also shouldn’t be afraid to take a leaf out of our competitors’ playbooks, either. The likes of Australia, New Zealand and the USA are competitive exporters because they put the experts and resources into their target markets. That’s something we should be looking at.”

Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales welcomes the new ’30, 30, 30+’ ambition, designed to be achieved in partnership with government, showing how we can see fantastic British and Welsh food on plates all across the world.

The move has drawn support from meat promotion body Hybu Cig Cymru.

CEO Gwyn Howells said: “Given the acute debate over food security and sustainability at the moment, it’s important to consider how trade in agricultural goods can work best for both the farmer and the consumer.

“In Wales we’re proud of our record on trade – with lamb and beef exports from Wales worth about £200m a year to the local economy. Our strategy for growth is focused both on mature markets in Europe and emerging markets such as the Middle East where we are well placed to offer a high-quality and environmentally-sustainable product.

“Trade policy as a whole needs to take full account of sustainability and food security. We produce red meat to world-leading standards in terms of emissions. It’s vital therefore that trade policy needs to protect our local farmers – lifting barriers to markets such as China, and protection from unfair competition in our domestic market from imports from countries with lower standards.”

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