October 3, 2022

Gulfood 2022: Welsh Lamb sets foot in the Middle East’s hospitality sector

Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) has launched a new partnership designed to boost sales of PGI Welsh Lamb into the hotel and restaurant sector across the Middle East. Available to buy at Classic Fine Foods and Kibsons, the demand for UK-produced sheep meat across the region has been steadily increasing year on year.  

Market development work by HCC and Welsh processors, in partnership with the Welsh Government, led to a major growth in lamb exports to the wider Middle East region including UAE, Kuwait, KSA, Jordan, Libya and Qatar of 495% between 2018 and 2020. According to HCC Market Development Manager Rhys Llywelyn this is the time to invest again in the region as the tourist and hospitality economy emerges from Covid restrictions. 

 “The Middle East has long been a promising market, with high lamb consumption and a rapidly growing economy and hospitality sector,” explained Rhys. “Our bid to expand this market, for the benefit of Welsh farmers and food producers, really started to pay dividends from 2018 with major increases in exports to several countries.” 

Keen to diversify their export markets to include regions beyond Europe post Brexit, the Welsh meat promotional body will embark on an ambitious programme of engagement with importers, hoteliers and restaurateurs. This will include investment into the UAE’s food industry bodies, such as their recent role as headline sponsor of the prestigious Leaders in Food and Beverage Awards, held at Sofitel Dubai the Obelisk hotel at the end of November. The growth in exports will also reflect the UK gaining access to new markets such as Saudi Arabia and persistent trade development activity by HCC and the Welsh Government in new markets like Qatar.  

“Covid has made things challenging for a period of course, but now is the time to ensure that Welsh Lamb is ahead of the game as the region’s hospitality sector resumes its strong growth. HCC will be working with a local specialist agency to increase awareness of Welsh Lamb across our key markets such as the UAE and Qatar, and the wider Gulf Co-operation Council region.” Rhys Llywelyn adds.   

Reared sustainably in the stunning Welsh hills by award-winning farmers, Welsh Lamb is a leading choice for top international chefs including Michelin-starred, London-based chef Francesco Mazzei. Because Welsh farming is largely non-intensive, lambs are left to roam and graze on grass all-year-round in one of the most unspoiled corners of the world, making the meat succulent, sweet and tender. These factors combine to give Welsh Lamb its very special flavour and character that led to it being awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, which means it is so unique it cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world. 

80% of Welsh farmland is unsuitable for growing crops, thereby making raising livestock the most efficient way to turn upland pastures into high-quality food while the grasslands capture carbon from the atmosphere – making it a popular choice for meat lovers considering their own sustainable eating choices this year.  

Related articles

AMI’s leading Plastic Closure Innovations Conference goes virtual for 2021

Industry professionals and technical experts from around the world will come together once again for the annual Plastic Closure Innovations event organised by plastics industry consultants AMI. For the first time, this event will be held virtually from 1-3 June 2021. Plastic Closure Innovations is Europe’s leading international forum, dedicated to the plastic caps and closures industry, exploring new development opportunities,

CIBUS 2021 starts from 1st week of Sept

Following the monitoring the evolution of the pandemic on international scale and the involvement of all stakeholders, Italian and international buyers and agrifood companies, Fiere di Parma in agreement with Federalimentare (the Italian Food & Drink Industry Federation) is confirming the dates of Cibus  2021: the show is scheduled from Tuesday August 31st to Friday September 3rd. The