Demand for Welsh lamb soars in Middle East
DEMAND for Welsh lamb in the Middle East is soaring, with exports up by 185 per cent in the first two months of this year alone.
The figures have been revealed by Welsh red meat promotion agency, Hybu Cig Cymru, after attending Gulfood in Dubai, the largest trade fair in the Middle East, along with representatives of Welsh meat exporting companies.
“We experienced a 56 per cent increase in trade to a major retailer in the United Arab Emirates in 2012 compared with the previous year,” says Gwyn Howells, HCC’s chief executive.
“But in the first two months of 2013 alone, the volume of Welsh lamb exported to this UAE retailer is up by 185 per cent compared with the same two month period of 2012.
“This is excellent news, and clearly demonstrates that there is a growing appetite for quality fresh Welsh lamb among customers in the region.”
HCC and several processing companies are now following up promising leads for more business in the Middle East, particularly from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman.
This follows a fact-finding trip by representatives of those countries to Wales last month, when they visited a sheep farm and two of abattoirs to see for themselves the production methods both on-farm and in the processing plants.
“Exports are a vital part of the Welsh red meat industry, helping to create wealth for rural communities in Wales and boosting our overall economy,” added Mr Howells.