The Welsh red meat industry is a cornerstone of the agricultural sector in Wales, contributing significantly to the economy and cultural heritage of the region. In recent years, farmers have continued to show resilience as they encounter challenges due to fluctuating market demands, weather-related disruptions, and ongoing concerns regarding sustainability and animal welfare. Through difficult times, Welsh red meat businesses are continually pioneering innovation and sustainability methods in the way they live, work and sell to the world. For some businesses, one way this has been possible is through the support and guidance of Welsh food and drink business advisory service, Cywain. Cywain, funded by Welsh Government, offers tailored support to food and drink producers, from start-ups to medium-sized businesses, to achieve their full growth potential. 

The celebration of agriculture in Wales is as rich as the country's heritage. As we embark on this year’s annual Great British Beef Week (GBBW), there is no better time to celebrate the red meat industry in Wales alongside one of the event’s key themes aimed to highlight innovative and sustainable farming practices agricultural businesses have adopted. There are a wide range of organisations in Wales that carry out these practices as part of the way they run their business. Snowdonia Wagyu and Fferm Carreg Farm are two businesses who have accessed Cywain’s support and been able to enhance their innovation and sustainability with measurable success.

Based in Caernarfon, Snowdonia Wagyu is one of the few farms in Wales to breed Wagyu. Breeding such a high grade of beef needs both passion and care for welfare, the environment and farming sustainability. Snowdonia Wagyu ensure to meet their esteemed criteria through their ethos of transparency, knowing where their meat comes from; minimal waste, selling from nose to tail; animal welfare, providing a good life with minimal stress for all livestock.

Steak (raw) - Snowdonia Wagyu

Snowdonia Wagyu describe their sort after beef as “the beating heart to our future;” a future which has been supported by Cywain. In the short time Cywain has been advising the business, Snowdonia Wagyu has accessed a wide variety of services to help them build a more sustainable future for their business. These services have included the opportunity to take part in Cywain Excelerator Workshops and the opportunity to Test-Trade at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair, as well as a Meet the Buyer event with Blas ar Fwyd and a Study Tour. These events and workshops have allowed Snowdonia Wagyu to project their voice, innovative products and sustainable farming methods to hundreds of customers and potential stakeholders. This has provided them with a surge of interest and enquiries, aiding in the continual growth of the business; a well-deserved development in the Welsh Wagyu industry. Snowdonia Wagyu’s founders, Sioned Pritchard and Meilir Breese, say: “The opportunities we’ve gained through Cywain have been incredibly helpful to our business growth, as well as to spreading the message of sustainable farming practices.”

Another spearhead in the Welsh beef and agricultural industry is Fferm Carreg Farm, a family-run business with deep-rooted Welsh farming heritage and a passion for sharing premium meats from one family to another. Committed to implementing regenerative farming practices that prioritise environmental stewardship and animal welfare, Fferm Carreg Farm achieve this through rotational and mob grazing. The benefits of this method of farming include enhanced soil and pasture health, biodiversity promotion, carbon sequestration and sustainable resource management. In turn, their beef has a truly distinctive flavour that is recognisable.

Ianto Parri - Fferm Carreg Farm

With a goal of bringing families together through nutritious meals coming “from pasture to plate,” Fferm Carreg Farm needed support with this vision. As a young business, Cywain were able to provide Fferm Carreg Farm with the necessary building blocks to start them on their journey; business advice, branding support and website and IT mentoring provided the necessities and business foundations for a very bright and sustainable future. Fferm Carreg Farm’s founder, Ianto Parri, says: “Cywain have been a big help in getting us off the ground. Their support means we can promote our high-quality, sustainably reared beef to more people.”

Cywain’s regional growth manager, Jayne Jones, has supported both Snowdonia Wagyu and Fferm Carreg Farm on their business journeys. She says: “We relish the opportunity to support and guide businesses in order to reach their full potential. Both businesses produce great quality meat and contribute to positively impacting our environment; they deserve recognition for this.”

Cywain’s project manager, Alex James, also believes more businesses like Snowdonia Wagyu and Fferm Carreg Farm should be applauded for their achievements. He says: “Everyone at Cywain is passionate about the food and drink industry, so being able to help businesses such as these is always a pleasure, and we look forward to continuing this support in the future.”

Damara Mon

It may be GBBW, but in the spirit of giving passionate and hard-working businesses recognition, Damara Môn, Anglesey-based sheep farmer, is also a pioneer in adopting sustainable methods to produce flavoursome lamb while benefiting the planet. Similarly, founder, Peter Williams, has accessed services through Cywain, including assistance with initial business start-up support and mentoring on business finance. This guidance has allowed Peter to promote the introduction of fat-tailed sheep to Wales via the EIP Wales project. 

Ffion Jeffreys - Y Cwt Cig

Another Anglesey business to watch out for is Y Cwt Cig run by founder and goat farmer, Ffion Jeffries. Producing artisanal, award-winning Welsh goat cheese and appetising goat meat, the business has benefitted from Cywain’s business and branding support on their journey so far.

Through GBBW, we have seen the array of Welsh businesses showcasing a strength and resilience in the marketplace. Further highlighting that becoming an innovative and sustainable farming business in Wales is possible with the right support, continuing to put Wales on the map for desirable meat and products that are highly sort after locally and globally.

To find out more on how Cywain can support your food and drink venture, visit their website for more information.