Welsh Beef producers can take centre stage and showcase the sector’s sustainability credentials during Great British Beef Week, Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) has said.

Great British Beef Week will take place from April 23-30, 2024, and HCC will feature beef farmers from across Wales to highlight practical steps beef farmers can take to improve efficiencies on farm.

As well as this, HCC will introduce consumers to five different ways to use PGI Welsh Beef through recipes.

HCC campaign executive, Philippa Gill, said: “Without the abundant rainfall we have here in Wales, the Welsh Beef story wouldn’t be what it is today.

“Beef cattle in Wales are overwhelmingly reared in non-intensive farming systems, using Wales’s natural resources – water and grass.

“PGI Welsh Beef has an incredible story to tell – from the people who produce it, the sustainability and environmental credentials of our Welsh Beef, as well as its versatility and great taste.

“Those are all things that HCC is going to champion and amplify during the week – taking a multi-pronged approach to highlighting the uniquely Welsh credentials which we know resonate so well with consumers.”

Sustainability in beef production

On sustainability in beef production in Wales, HCC head of sustainability and future policy, Rachael Madeley-Davies, said all sectors of human activity including agriculture and food production have a role to play in responding to the climate emergency.

“HCC recognises that difficult choices have to be made, and creative solutions found, to feed a growing world population equitably without further degrading the environment and adding to climate change,” she said.

“We believe passionately that food and farming in Wales are already making a positive contribution, and we will support the red meat sector to ensure they are equipped to face the challenges of the future.”

Beef and sheep farmer Ben Williams farms alongside his brother Ethan on the outskirts of Cardiff at Garth Farm.

“The native grassland is not intensively farmed here. The animals are grown at a slower rate, so you get better fat marbling in the meat,” he said.

“When our customers see where our animals graze, in a natural environment, amongst the native grassland and heather, I think they can really taste the difference.”

Williams family

The Williams family keep a flock of almost 700 ewes (South Welsh Mountain, Suffolk crosses, Black Welsh Mountain) and 20 rams (South Welsh Mountain and Black Welsh Mountain).

Ben and Ethan Williams. Image: HCC

They also have a herd of pedigree Welsh Black cattle consisting of 46 suckler cows, two bull and some Welsh pigs.

The land encompasses Garth Hill, a scheduled ancient monument, and the Williams’ play an “integral role as custodians of the land”, HCC said.

“Their grazing management allows biodiversity to thrive, while ensuring their animals get the best nutrition, feeding on grass and herbs as nature intended.”

“My grandfather carried out work on the hill in the 1950s, which greatly improved the biodiversity here. Visitors to Garth Hill today can appreciate nature at its best – with birds such as sky larks and kestrels thriving,” Williams said.

“We have a rich environment with native grass species and native woodland. We have planted 80,000 trees over the years and continued to lay hedgerows for the past 20 years, which are a haven for wildlife. There is plenty of tree cover, so we have many birds nesting here.

“It’s good to know that while our cattle are grazing in this rich and diverse natural environment, they are helping to protect it. I think this is what makes Welsh Beef so special.”