Minister welcomes additional funding to promote Welsh red meat
Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has welcomed confirmation the Britain-wide Red Meat Levy Ring-fenced Fund will increase from £2million to £3.5million next year, after agreement was reached between the Red Meat Levy boards in Wales, Scotland and England.
For the last two years, Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC), along with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) have jointly decided on a collaborative programme of activities to support the British meat industry. This includes jointly promoting British meat overseas and work to underpin the nutritional benefits of red meat.
Today it has been confirmed the size of the overall fund will increase from £2m to £3.5m from 1 April 2020. The additional investment will focus particularly on bolstering the reputation of meat with consumers, addressing misconceptions and promoting the benefits of sustainable meat consumption.
Lesley Griffiths said:
“The additional money going into the Red Meat Levy Ring-fenced Fund is good news for Wales’ red meat industry. Increasing the fund from £2 to £3.5m will provide more opportunities to promote world class PGI Welsh Lamb and Beef at home and overseas. This is an excellent example of collaborative working that will deliver positive results for Wales’ red meat industry. I am grateful to HCC for the role they have played in reaching this agreement with the UK’s other Red Meat Levy boards.”
In a joint statement, HCC, AHDB and QMS said:“The current ring-fenced fund has been a fantastic opportunity for us to work more closely together to further the interests of the British meat sector. Whilst this remains an interim step before redistribution of levies takes place, we believe the time is right to strengthen this collaboration and increase the overall investment made in the joint fund for the next 12 months.
“The industry is under tremendous pressure and we feel we can make even bigger progress on market development and export work, to find new markets for our products overseas, and the ongoing reputation work to promote all that is good and defend the industry from myths and misinformation.”
Notes to editors
The Red meat levy is jointly paid by producers and slaughterers / exporters, raised on all cattle, sheep and pigs slaughtered in GB or exported live for slaughter. Since April 2008 it has been the responsibility of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) in England, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) in Scotland and Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) in Wales to collect statutory levy from sheep, cattle and pigs at the point of slaughter (abattoirs) in the respective countries
The three organisations are working closely with governments in Scotland, Wales and England to agree a fair approach to redistribution of levies, following the adoption of the UK Agriculture Bill later this year. The current interim arrangement and increase in value of the RFF is seen as a precursor to further collaboration between the three levy boards once levies are being redistributed.