Marketing push aims to carve out a slice of the US export market for Welsh Lamb
A major marketing push is being launched next week to promote Welsh Lamb in America.
Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), the Welsh Government and the whole Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) Welsh Lamb supply chain are working together in an effort to carve out a slice of the American export market.
Restrictions on the import of UK lamb into the USA were finally lifted last year, and Welsh processors have subsequently been working to obtain the necessary inspections and certification in order to begin large scale exporting.
The promotional programme will kick off with attendance at the ‘summit’ of the American meat industry – the Annual Meat Conference (AMC) – held this year in Dallas, Texas on 6-8 March, at which meetings are planned with importers and distributors.
Welsh Lamb will feature in a trade show to be held alongside the AMC event, and HCC and processor representatives will also use the opportunity to visit leading US retailers to further scout out the potential market.
Laura Pickup, HCC’s Head of Strategic Marketing, who will be part of the delegation at the AMC in Texas, said: “Our previous market research has shown that the US market could be a multi-million pound opportunity for Welsh farmers and the broader red meat industry.
“Our work in Canada in the past has also helped us to develop links with importers and to build awareness of the Welsh Lamb brand in the North American market.
“We’re therefore determined to put together a bold programme of promotion – both developing the key contacts, and launching an online information resource.”
According to HCC the total value of Welsh Lamb exports last year was £171.5m.
Sales to North America grew, with the first shipments to the US made towards the end of 2022 and the combined sales including to Canada were worth over £3m over the year.
The first lamb exports from Wales were shipped to the USA last October following the lifting of restrictions introduced in 1989 following the BSE outbreak in the UK.
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A tip for the marketing people, make sure you have our flag on the packaging, to enable the purchasers to recognise it is from Cymru, unlike the supermarkets here, where everything has a union Jack emblazoned on the packaging.
Could not agree more.
If it has the union rag of England and Scotland on it, what’s the point? You’ll be feeding more than their hunger, you’ll be feeding the narrative that Wales is a part of England.
Perhaps Welsh Lamb – Cig Cymraeg – could be better marketed in Wales and the rest of Britain. Right now the retailers are taking big margins and ripping off the producer farmers. Big business at work again but not working for anybody else. And governments don’t care about rampant food price inflation driven by greed.