‘Triple Challenge’ of a new world to dominate agenda of HCC Conference

The main annual conference of Wales’ livestock and red meat industry, hosted by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) on November 10, 11 and 12, will this year be a virtual event focusing on three huge challenges as the sector looks to 2021.

Following a year like no other, key speakers and panel discussions will look at how Covid-19 has impacted supply and demand, how Wales can be best-placed to respond to consumer demand for sustainably-produced food, and if post-Brexit deals could change the global trading landscape.

Contributors will include Dr. Frank Mitloehner, the leading expert on livestock farming and environmental sustainability from the CLEAR Center at University of California Davis, who will give a keynote address on ‘The Path to Climate Neutrality’.

Chris Elliott OBE, founder of the Institute of Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast, will give a presentation on the need for integrity in global food supply chains after Covid; trade expert Richard Brown of GIRA will lead a discussion on the changing international landscape for red meat; and Welsh government Minister Lesley Griffiths will present her vision of the future of Welsh food and farming.

Sessions will also present new data on how supply and demand for red meat has changed during a turbulent 2020, and how this has impacted a range of businesses from farmers and independent butchers’ shops to foodservice suppliers. There will also be updates from the participants in HCC’s strategic industry projects.

‘2020 has brought unique challenges to our industry’

HCC chief executive Gwyn Howells said:

2020 has brought unique challenges to our industry like many others. It’s vital that we understand how a changing picture in terms of global politics and trade may affect us, analyse how consumers’ changing behaviour during the pandemic, and look at how Wales can be a global leader in sustainable farming in a way which benefits both consumers and our rural economy.

“We’re delighted to have such engaging keynote speakers, all of whom are in great demand in the media as experts on how the future of food could look in 2021 and beyond.

“A virtual conference will of course be a different experience for us all, but we’re confident that everyone in our industry – from farmers to policy-makers and every link in the supply chain – will have a lot to contribute at this time when the future has rarely been less certain, but where opportunities undoubtedly exist for Wales.”

The event will be held over an easy-to-use conference website, with sessions on the evening of Tuesday and Wednesday, November 10 and 11, and keynote presentations and discussions on Thursday, November 12.