NFU Cymru has congratulated Catherine Smith on her appointment as the new chair of Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC).

Food Business consultant Catherine Smith, who will take over from incumbent chair Kevin Roberts on April 1, 2021, has been a board member of HCC since 2017.

NFU Cymru President John Davies said: "I’d like to congratulate Catherine Smith on her appointment as the new chair of HCC and thank Kevin Roberts for his work and leadership over the past four years.

Catherine will be taking over at a pivotal time for the red meat sector in Wales as we seek a global market for our products, following our departure from the EU.

"Welsh red meat is a world-leader in both its quality and sustainability credentials and marketing these strengths, to a global audience, in new and innovative ways, must be a priority for the board."

'Covid-19 has presented unique challenges'

Davies continued:

"Covid-19 has presented unique challenges but also huge opportunities for our products.

"Consumers’ favourability towards the agricultural industry has never been higher and the pandemic has brought into sharp focus the need for a constant supply of high-quality food to our customers.

As we leave the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and design new policies made here in Wales, we need to ensure that we develop a comprehensive food and farming policy.

"This policy must have an ambition for growth that allows us to capitalise on these great credentials in both our domestic and export markets, in order to deliver a vibrant and prosperous future for everyone involved in the red meat sector in Wales," he added.

"I would like to thank Kevin for his sterling work on behalf of the Welsh red meat industry, being at the helm of the HCC board at a time of unprecedented uncertainty brought upon by Brexit.

Throughout his time with HCC Kevin has overseen the publication of the organisation’s Vision 2025 strategy and just recently the Welsh Way document, a strong and robust evidence base to further build our sector as a global leader in sustainability.

"We look forward to working closely with Catherine to ensure HCC delivers for levy-payers across Wales," he concluded.