Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), the Welsh Government and the whole PGI Welsh Lamb supply chain are set to work together to launch a major drive to tap into the American export market.
Restrictions on the import of UK lamb into the USA were finally lifted last year, and Welsh processors have been leading the way in obtaining the necessary inspections and certification in order to begin exporting.
The initial promotional programme will kick off with attendance at the ‘summit’ of the American meat industry – the Annual Meat Conference (AMC) – held this year in Dallas, Texas on 6-8 March, at which meetings are planned with importers and distributors.
Welsh Lamb will feature in a trade show to be held alongside the AMC event, and HCC and processor representatives will also use the opportunity to visit leading US retailers to further research the potential market.
A new website will be launched to give potential customers all the information they need on how to source Welsh Lamb, and its key brand values of quality, traceability and environmental sustainability.
Laura Pickup, HCC’s Head of Strategic Marketing, will be part of the delegation at the AMC in Texas. She said;
“I’m looking forward very much to being at the top annual event of the American meat sector, alongside our leading processing companies from Wales. We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to meet importers, retailers and foodservice distributors.
“Our previous market research has shown that the US market could be a multi-million pound opportunity for Welsh farmers and the broader red meat industry. Our work in Canada in the past has also helped us to develop links with importers and to build awareness of the Welsh Lamb brand in the North American market.
“We’re therefore determined to put together a bold programme of promotion – both developing the key contacts, and launching an online information resource.”
HCC’s promotional push in the US market has received financial assistance from the Welsh Government.
Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said: “It’s great to see this activity taking place in the United States. There are exciting opportunities for Welsh Lamb in the US market, following the lifting of restrictions, which is good news for our farmers and producers. I’m pleased the Welsh Government is supporting this activity and I wish the event every success.”