The latest figures from Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) show that Welsh red meat production accounts for 43% of 2021 Welsh agricultural output.
The company said that there were more than three times the number of sheep than people in Wales last year, contributing an estimated £744 million to Welsh red meat production.
Figures show that consumer spend on lamb at retail in Wales is increasing 4% year-on-year.
The HCC said that 9.5 million Welsh sheep and lambs and 1.1 million Welsh cattle produced 48,700t of sheep meat and 40,300t of beef last year.
HCC’s intelligence, analysis and business insight executive, Glesni Phillips, said: “Without doubt, the industry will be facing fresh, and perhaps serious, challenges in the new year but we can be confident that Wales will continue to be recognised on the world map for quality, sustainable and reputable red meat production.”
The Little Book of Meat Facts
The statistics uncovered by HCC feature in The Little Book of Meat Facts – a published book of Welsh agricultural information.
The book focuses on facts, figures and trends in the Welsh lamb, beef and pork industries.
Phillips said that the book “provides general statistics – a comprehensive overview of Welsh agriculture – followed by in-depth sections on cattle, sheep and pigs”.
“The booklet shows that, despite all the disruptions and changes still evident during 2021, the industry remains central to the economy in Wales.
“Large numbers are employed in the sector and it remains the backbone of our rural communities,” she said.