HCC to launch GB marketing push ahead of Brexit

As fears grow over the future of meat exports post-Brexit, the Welsh agri-food sector has taken matters into its own hands, launching a promotional campaign to remind British shoppers they don’t need to go far for quality food.

The Welsh red meat levy board Hybu Cig Cymru / Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) said the decision to begin the strategic marketing drive is due to the uncertainty of export markets post-Brexit.

Currently, more than 90% of Welsh red meat exports land on European shores – something, many fear leaves the industry exposed in the event that no trade deal is reached between the UK and the UK.

Over the coming weeks and months, HCC will be ramping up its presence and marketing activity among consumers, retail buyers and within the foodservice and hospitality sectors in the domestic market.

Drive to promote Welsh within the UK

In late February and over the St. David’s Day period, HCC will be taking PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef samples to buyers and senior staff members at the headquarters of one of Britain’s most influential multiple retailers, in a joint venture with Welsh Government.

The campaign will also involve in-store sampling and HCC will be working with Welsh food service and hospitality businesses at customer engagement events.

HCC will also be involved in a Welsh hospitality event taking place at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, highlighting how Wales’ food and drink offering bolsters the overall Welsh tourism sector.

In March, the HCC will also showcase Welsh produce at two of Britain’s most influential trade shows – The International Food & Drink Event (IFE) in London and Wales’ international trade event TasteWales.

Over the coming months, the HCC team will also be working to further its partnerships online with bloggers and influencers as it rolls-out targeted campaigns to key target audiences in Britain.

HCC chief executive Gwyn Howells said: “The home market is still a highly significant market for PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef and one that we can be sure will still exist after March 29.

“Therefore, it is important that we exploit the opportunity to drive growth and recognition of our quality produce on British soil.

Exports account for approximately 35% of all Welsh Lamb, with 90% of those exports going to the EU. Approximately 60% of all Welsh Lamb is sold in England and 5% in Wales.

“Of course, we hope that we will still retain access to trade freely with the EU post-Brexit. However, until the current uncertainty around that is alleviated, this push allows us to connect with more UK customers, champion our product and sell our story.”

Lesley Griffiths, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs said: “With a no-deal Brexit still a distinct possibility, we must build on our existing markets home and abroad, seek out new markets while maintaining so far as possible our biggest export partner in the EU.

“Welsh Government and HCC are working together to help promote the Welsh brand and its reputation for quality and sustainability in supermarkets and at trade events throughout the UK and beyond.”