Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) has launched a new partnership designed to boost sales of PGI Welsh Lamb into the hotel and restaurant sector in some of the top city destinations in the Middle East.
The Welsh meat promotional body is working with local partners on an ambitious programme of engagement with importers, hoteliers and restaurateurs. The venture will see Welsh Lamb become a headline sponsor of the prestigious Leaders in Food and Beverage Awards, held at Sofitel Dubai the Obelisk hotel on 24 November.
The value of the tourism industry in the United Arab Emirates has soared – doubling between 2016 and 2019 in terms of the amount spent by visitors to the country.
Welsh Lamb is food brand which is highly respected in the UAE and nearby markets as a high-quality product with world-leading sustainability credentials, leaving it well placed to take advantage of the surge in the hotel and restaurant business.
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 of around 400% 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.”
He added, “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.”
Rhys Llywelyn explained that the sponsorship of the Leaders in Food and Beverage Awards was part of a wider promotional push in the region.
“HCC will be working with a local specialist agency on a programme of work to ensure that Welsh Lamb is even more well known in the food industry in key markets such as the UAE and Qatar, and the wider Gulf Co-operation Council region,” he said. “We’re delighted to be partnering with the organisers Hotel and Catering News on these prestigious awards, and much more is planned over the coming months.”