Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) has sent a trade delegation to the Far East to open up important trade for the Welsh lamb and beef sectors.
Representatives from HCC, along with three Welsh red meat exporters, have travelled to Beijing to meet with authorities in a bid to gain market access for Welsh lamb and Welsh beef.
HCC chief executive Gwyn Howell is leading the mission, Howell explained that access to the Chinese market could provide a huge boost for Welsh red meat industry. He said: “There is a growing demand for quality meat products such as Welsh lamb and Welsh beef in China due to the growing wealth of the average Chinese consumer. Currently only three countries have access to China for lamb exports, and these products command a high price.”
The trade mission is also an opportunity for Welsh exporters to meet with possible business partners, as well as to learn more about the market in the Far East. The delegation will also be travelling to the Food and Hotel China (FHC) exhibition, where they hope to meet with potential customers as well as visit other retailers in the country and further explore the opportunities available to the Welsh red meat sector.
Howells said: “The Chinese market will give us a new destination for our high end products, where there is a high demand from four- and five-star hotels. But China also offers us the opportunity to export sheep and lamb offal, products which are popular in northern regions of the country.”
According to HCC, Welsh lamb products are increasing in popularity in the Far East, with Wales seeing a rise in exports last year. In 2011, Hong Kong increased imports of Welsh lamb by 300% and was worth more than £2m to the Welsh economy. Exports to Singapore also doubled last year.