Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) has announced a series of regional events across the country to engage with farmers and discuss the future of the red meat sector.

The lamb, beef and pork promotion and development body, which receives core funding from a Red Meat Levy on farmers and processors, is in the process of developing its plans to support the industry for 2022 and beyond.

The move comes as the Welsh red meat sector emerges from a period of uncertainty – following disruption through Brexit uncertainty then Covid-19.

On-farm meetings

Meetings will be held on-farm at Welshpool, Holywell, Lampeter, Pontypridd and Llanrwst, with an invitation to Welsh beef, sheep and pig farmers to participate in an open discussion.

HCC chair Catherine Smith said:

Our sector has coped remarkably well with Brexit uncertainty and Covid. Consumers have responded very well to our marketing campaigns, and sales have risen.

“But this is a good time to engage with our farmer stakeholders on plans for the future.

“We’re therefore looking forward to discussing the various challenges and opportunities the sector faces with farmers at these open meetings, and hearing input from a range of voices on how to deliver the ambitious goals set out in our ‘Vision 2025’ document and provide the best value for money to our levy-payers.

“There are certainly challenges on the horizon; new trade deals, changing consumer needs and the challenge of sustainability.

“With our strong brands and sustainable farming practices, Wales is in a strong position to respond.

With a united strategy across the whole supply chain, we can continue to prosper, and these meetings are a good opportunity for farmers to make their views known and contribute ideas.”

The Farmers’ Forum meetings will be held at the premises of farmers who are participating in HCC’s successful Red Meat Development Programme, an EU and Welsh government funded initiative designed to boost profitability and sustainability on beef and sheep farms and prepare the sector for the future.