New, for this year’s Winter Fair, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society has joined forces with an up-and-coming Welsh entrepreneur to launch a competition for the most commercially-viable cattle hides.

With an emphasis on quality Welsh produce, Hayley Hanson established her leather fashion design business back in 2016.

Hayley uses the hides of her own commercial beef animals sent to slaughter to makes luxury leather goods. The hides are then tanned and processed within the UK – something she dubs as a fully traceable and sustainable process ‘from farm to arm’.

Judging the competition

She and her husband Mike, who rear cattle on their family farm, nestled between the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains, will be judging the new competition on Sunday night (November 25).

Inspecting all eligible animals whilst they are settled in their stalls, ready for a busy few days of Winter Fair competitions ahead, Hayley and Mike will be looking for the animal which potentially has the best hide for turning into luxury commercial leather products, such as handbags, wallets, upholstery, etc.

The intention will be that Hayley will use the winning hide for some of her future products – perhaps producing a range of Royal Welsh leather goods.

Eligible cattle will have a Welsh passport and will be sold for slaughter at the sale on the Tuesday of the event.

“We are always looking at ways of keeping our events and the competitions up-to-date and this new hide competition is perfect,” says Will Hanks, Winter Fair director.

This is the first competition of its kind in the UK and we are delighted that not only does it showcase the versatility and quality of our excellent Welsh livestock, it also highlights the importance of diversification and sustainability within our sector in these uncertain times.

“The Winter Fair really is the place to see the Welsh livestock farming in its entirety. Whether it’s the animals in the show rings, the carcasses on display, the finished products in the food hall and our new taste test competitions or now…high-quality Welsh leather.”