Rhys Llywelyn, HCC Market Development Manager recently addressed Meirionnydd NFU Cymru members at their county meeting held at Dolgellau Rugby Club.
During the meeting, Rhys Llywelyn explained the current budget that is available to HCC and how this will be used in the coming years, noting the work that is being done on social media to help promote lamb products to prospective customers.
Rhys also noted that there was a great deal of work being put into developing new markets and trying to help the industry to adapt carcass size where possible. This work is being done to help secure the traditional premium markets for the lighter lambs that are often produced off the mountainous land in Wales. A new project from HCC will seek to identify the optimum mature size of breeding animals, which is a key issue for research, and will hopefully provide valuable information for farmers.
Meirionnydd NFU Cymru County Chairman, Emlyn Roberts, said: “We are extremely proud of our ability to provide safe, quality, fully traceable and affordable food to consumers, both domestically and abroad, and farmers across the county want to continue to do this - but the market must be there.
“Around a third of the Welsh lamb crop ends up on the European market, and with Meirionnydd producing a high proportion of light lambs for this market in particular, leaving the EU without a deal is a real worry for us.
“With the agricultural industry presently facing huge uncertainty with Brexit, especially if a deal cannot be obtained, HCC and other organisations are urging farmers who can breed bigger lambs to do so, to alleviate the pressure on those who, due to farm type, can only produce the lighter or superlight lambs and to also ensure that they can add much needed value to the carcass.
“I’d like to thank Rhys Llywelyn for addressing the meeting and providing us with the facts and figures on the Welsh lamb industry - in particular the light lambs sector. We were all in agreement that exiting the EU without a deal would be catastrophic for Meirionnydd as a whole, since so many businesses here rely on the farming industry.”