St David’s Day revellers around the world will be tucking into tasty Welsh lamb as figures show exports have reached a record high, generating millions for the UK economy, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss announced today.
In the last four years the UK exported £523m of Welsh lamb with sales hitting £154.7m in 2013, an increase of 38% since 2010, supporting over 50,000 jobs in the region.
Wales’s national symbol is also proving a success overseas with millions of the UK’s brightly coloured daffodil bunches expected to grace Easter tables across the world. Total overseas exports in 2014 weighed in at an impressive 6,220 tonnes, up 50% since 2010. In the last four years we have shipped 26,900 tonnes, equating to around 376 million bulbs and generating £22 million for our economy.
France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands are now the biggest buyers of Welsh lamb, with French imports valued at £74.7 million, five times higher than any other country. And enterprising Welsh lamb producers have successfully opened up new markets as far afield as the Middle East, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Across the world people are increasingly using Welsh lamb as the ingredient in local speciality dishes – from pinnekjøtt in Norway to koftas in the Middle East. Sales of welsh lamb have contributed to a record year for the UK food chain which generated £103 billion in 2013 and now employs 1 in 8 people.
Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:
St David’s Day celebrations wouldn’t be complete without lamb and daffodils on the dinner table.
Thanks to the unique conditions for rearing Welsh sheep, combined with expert farming techniques, people the world over, from Stockholm to Singapore, are now recognising Welsh lamb’s unrivalled quality.
These impressive figures show how the UK’s world class farmers and bulb growers are helping power our growing economy. Overall our food chain is in rude health - it generated more than 200,000 jobs over the past four years, supporting our long term economic plan.
Gwyn Howells, Chief Executive of Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales, said:
Welsh Lamb has a well-earned reputation as a premium quality brand which is sought after by consumers right across the globe.
Consumers rightly appreciate our clean, green farming methods which allow our sheep and cattle to roam extensively across the hills and valleys of Wales, exactly as nature intended. It’s why Welsh Lamb is of such high quality and makes it the ideal centrepiece for any St David’s Day celebration.