HCC Conference

08 Nov

I didn’t know HCC were having a conference, but then I’m not a farmer, or represent them, neither am I a partner in their supply chain – just a humble journalist whose publication supports the Welsh food industry. Thankfully Ian Mole picked this HCC information up from a Welsh Government newsletter and passed it over to me. But at a risk of making up my own script here, could one of the reasons the HCC team spend so much time abroad chasing export orders for our meat industry, be their reason for keeping the supermarkets on their toes? If Wales exports meat abroad at a high price, then it doesn’t it set a price precedent for the home multiple retailer market?

The Deputy Minister has had first hand knowledge of exports events in both Italy and France, which of course means he joins the no doubt large team from HCC that spend a great deal of time abroad at the Welsh taxpayers expense.

But before I let the Deputy Minister comment about the HCC conference I will register my amazement yet again that the markets in Italy and France, not to mention Japan are obviously known so well, but neither HCC or the Welsh Government canidentify the number of independent butchers in Wales. What do you believe that the HCC and the Welsh Government think of our local butchers, or will you agree with me that they never have been a priority. Or as one butcher said to me, ‘maybe we’ll be missed when we all shut up shop in despair’. What a pity that local butchers don’t have such strong representation capable of bending the ears of our Deputy Minister and HHC as the farmers have. Whilst they all focus on the ‘bigger picture’Wales loses more and more butchers.

Anyway enough of my views, let me leave you to digest the sound bites from the Deputy Minister.

Thursday 08 November

Deputy Minister for Agriculture Alun Davies has stressed the importance of creating new export markets in Europe to boost the Welsh meat industry.

Speaking at the Hybu Cig Cymru annual conference, Mr Davies praised the work of the organisation in promoting Welsh meat both abroad and at home.

He said: “I have recently seen at first hand the great work Hybu Cig Cymru has done in promoting Welsh lamb and beef at events in Italy and France. We all need to focus on the bigger picture. It is important not only to maintain existing contracts, but to find new ones home and abroad.”

The Deputy Minister also stressed to the conference in Llandudno the importance of farmers further developing their business acumen. He said: “Farmers should be encouraged to increase their business planning through training and mentoring, viewing training as an investment in their business rather than a cost.”

Mr Davies said the Welsh Government would do its bit to support the Welsh meat industry by providing a strong voice in Europe. “Currently, CAP is, as I have already made clear, the number one issue and priority for us all and will dominate proceeding for the next 18 months.

I am pressing for a ten year transition to the new area based payments to ensure Welsh farmers are given enough time to make changes. I believe that on CAP, as with so many other issues, the Welsh Government is pretty much on the same page as farmers in Wales and their representative bodies.”

Mr Davies added: “I am keen to build on the dialogue between the Welsh Government, farmers and their representatives, and partners across the supply chain so that we can all work together for the good of the industry. Making sure the industry has a confident, profitable, and sustainable future is something that everyone needs to work towards.”



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  1. Producer

    November 9, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    As a producer who uses a slaughter house every single week, and part of the slaughter fees go to HCC, I would have thought I would have known about this, but then, why bother with the small people? I will continue to pay towards their wages, whether I like it or not, but it would be nice to see some reciprocation.

    Selling meat abroad will not stop the supermarkets importing cheaper meat, cutting it here and legally labeling it as “Welsh”. Pork and chicken are not subject to the same welfare rules as here, but how is a consumer supposed to know where their meat was reared, and in what conditions?
    And as for training being “an investment, rather than a cost”, well try selling that idea to the bank manager! Words fail me….

  2. meat man

    November 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Why would HCC want a journalist, let alone an editor who has a magazine that supports local food, about their conference beforehand?
    This is HCC, our meat governming body, that not only continues to ignore your magazine in it’s latest massive advertising campaign, instead, they focus on the likes of the Daily Mail. Maybe if you didn’t keep upsetting them and showing the holes in what they are doing you’d get their support, do you think? But this just proves their lack of interest in us here in Wales. Sending out a few brochures, makes one now question how can they, when you tell me they don’t even know how many local butchers are working here in Wales.
    What their website says and what HCC does are two totally different things, but they are funded so it doesn’t matter to them it is not their livelihood in trouble.
    Your ongoing questions to them are making them look the total joke that we always believed they were. Supermarkets and trips abroad does not prove that HCC are doing a good job for their big salaries. Because guys you are not doing a good job and never really have done so for us local smaller guys. But your reason-for-being isn’t us small people and never has been. We have just let you get on with it and moaned behind the scenes, feeling powerless to change anything.
    Welsh Country has done superb work to push local food, evryone in Wales should be proud of them. This site has certainly put the cat amongst the fat Welsh pidgeons. I admire your courage and tenacity in what you have achieved to date, sorry it comes at such a cost to your team and company though. Petty government and petty departments! Sadly I have to concur with you when you say we have the HCC we deserve because we are too frightened to speak up for ourselves. I know this is what you also say about wag food and the producers. But my goodness you are pushing all of us to have a re-think and hopefully now to act and not be scared any more.
    Perhaps things will change, but you have to have a strong leadership to change our bent, brown-nosed food system.