Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) chief executive, Gwyn Howells, has received a top industry award in recognition of his contribution to the development of the lamb, beef and pork sectors in Wales.

At a Council for Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies (CARAS) ceremony at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, Howells was awarded with a Fellowship of the organisation.

Gwyn Howells grew up in a sheep farming background in Ceredigion, graduating from Bangor University before working with the Meat and Livestock Commission, assuming overall responsibility for the organisation’s activities in Wales with the advent of devolution at the turn of the century.

He then served as chief executive of the Welsh red meat levy body Hybu Cig Cymru since its foundation in 2003, establishing the new organisation and its headquarters in Aberystwyth.

Under his leadership, the organisation played a key role in building the PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef brands into premium quality foods recognised throughout the UK and internationally, and growing the value of Welsh red meat exports to £200 million a year.

In addition, the organisation has worked across the supply chain to deliver improvements in efficiency and sustainability.

'It is an honour to receive this award'

Gwyn Howells said: “It is an honour to receive this award from CARAS, as the Royal Welsh and the Agricultural Societies play such a vital role food and farming, and the wider rural economy and society. The award is a recognition of the collective work of Hybu Cig Cymru and the whole supply chain.

In 36 years of working in this industry I’ve seen fair weather and foul; most recently HCC and the wider sector have had to respond with agility and creativity to the twin challenges of Brexit and Covid.

"We have seen great support from the consumer both home and abroad.

“HCC has always sought to deliver first and foremost for its levy-payers, and in doing so help support an industry which underpins the economy and culture of rural Wales and will hopefully continue to do so for generations to come.

“As the red meat sector in Wales looks to the future we have challenges of course, but we’re also well placed to deliver what the modern consumer wants – a quality product, traceable at every stage, and farmed to the highest standards of welfare and environmental sustainability.”