Graduates recruited to oversee ‘ambitious work’ in HCC programme

Two agriculture graduates have been recruited by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) to help deliver the “ambitious work” involved in the organisation’s Red Meat Development Programme.

Sean Jeffreys, from Swansea, and Elizabeth Swancott, from Knighton in Powys, will take on the responsibilities of project officers for the programme, which is aimed at ensuring that “Welsh lamb and beef supply chains are ready for future challenges”.

Sean is a graduate of Harper Adams University, where he graduated with a degree in agriculture with marketing. As part of his studies he examined the sustainability of upland sheep farming.

Elizabeth graduated from Aberystwyth University with a degree in agriculture and marketing. She studied meat science, and undertook work placements in the processing sector.

As the projects have now been running for a year, with more and more farmers joining, we needed to strengthen our team to ensure we deliver this ambitious programme.

John Richards, HCC’s industry development and relations manager, said that the two new recruits would be “ideal fits” for the programme, commenting: “We’re lucky to have universities nearby who offer highly-respected agriculture courses, so both Elizabeth and Sean arrive with a firm foundation in their respective fields”.

Richards added: “The three projects within the Red Meat Development Programme are all looking at ways to strengthen the industry – to increase profitability and sustainability from the farm right through the supply chain, in ways which also make Welsh lamb and beef more appealing to the consumer.

“The aim is to make our sector as resilient as possible as we head into a period of uncertainty,” he concluded.

The Red Meat Development Programme is a five-year initiative which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, and the Welsh Government. It is comprised of three distinct projects.

The Stoc+ programme is aimed at helping vets and farmers to work on “pro-active measures” to ensure the best possible animals health; the Welsh Lamb Meat Quality Project is designed to look at the various influences on the eating quality of lamb; and the Hill Ram Scheme engages with upland farms in performance recording and genetic improvements.