With a number of dilemmas, disruptions and potential disasters currently hurtling towards the red meat sector from different directions, a major industry conference will look at how the sector can fight back.
On Thursday 14 November, the Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) Conference will focus on the uniqueness of the red meat sector in Wales. HCC Chair, Kevin Roberts’ opening address will focus on how the industry has a story to tell the consumer which sets it apart from the intensive farming systems which operate in some other parts of the world. In Wales, livestock are reared to exceptional animal welfare standards and environmental sustainability. As well as producing premium products, the industry can be part of the solution to global climate change and food security.
Gwyn Howells, HCC’s Chief Executive said: “We look forward to welcoming a range of keynote speakers to our conference who will lead the deliberations and debates on a sector that is a cornerstone of the Welsh economy.
“Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM will share her views and vision for a sustainable sector in the future. Also headlining the bill will be Lord Mark Price whose finger is on the political and purchasing pulse, as well as diet and health expert, Dr Zoë Harcombe.”
Lord Mark Price is a former Trade Minister and former Managing Director of Waitrose. He will focus on red meat and its place in a changing trading landscape. Consumers are altering their eating and buying habits, and he will share his expertise on how this is affecting the UK retail scene and out-of-home dining. He will also have unique insight into the prospects for Welsh lamb and beef accessing new international markets.
Dr Zoë Harcombe is an independent researcher and author on diet and health, and a keen supporter of red meat and its benefits to human health. She will focus on the public debate and nutritional science around red meat and fat.
Mr Howells added: “Other key themes which will be high on the agenda will include HCC’s environmental message and an update on the beef price scenario which is causing great concern and apprehension for farmers across the UK.
“Updates will also be provided by HCC on recent activity, including our digital focus for Welsh Lamb and Beef promotion, and the innovative Red Meat Development Programme (RMDP) which looks to transform aspects of red meat production and consumption for the future.
“We hope to see farmers, processors, policy-makers and anyone with an interest in the red meat sector at the event which promises to be a platform for constructive and informative discussions on the future of our industry.”
The event is returning to the Members’ Centre at the Royal Welsh Showground near Builth Wells, with registration from 3pm, and the formal proceedings commencing at 3:30pm. Before the 7:00pm finish, delegates will be offered an exclusive opportunity to raise any burning issues with the HCC Board members during a dedicated Q&A session.
The RMDP is supported by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
Also taking place on 14 November will be consumer panel tasting events as part of the BeefQ project, led by Aberystwyth University in which HCC is a partner. The public is invited to attend to taste and score samples of beef and the results will be used to build an eating quality prediction system for Wales. Three sessions will be held at the International Pavillion, also on the Royal Welsh Showground at 11:00am, 12:15pm and 1:30pm. It is essential that participants register for these events by 11 November by contacting HCC.
Further information is available at meatpromotion.wales and delegates are also asked to contact HCC to register for the Conference by 11 November: 01970 625050 / firstname.lastname@example.org