Meat & Livestock News

Welsh Lamb Set for Japanese Markets Following New Export Agreement

A farm of trimmed white and brown sheep and rams

Welsh lamb is poised to enter the Japanese market, a significant milestone following a newly signed export deal. This development is a testament to Welsh farmers’ concerted efforts and the Welsh Government’s support, highlighting the region’s commitment to sustainable farming practices and quality produce.

The Welsh livestock industry, with a farm total income exceeding £600 million, plays a crucial role in the local economy. It employs nearly 50,000 people directly, with many more involved in the supply chain. The industry’s export value currently stands at £258 million, a figure set to increase with the expansion into Japan in 2024.

Annually, Wales’ 8.7 million sheep and 1.1 million cattle contribute approximately 90,000 tonnes of red meat to the market. This production is not just an economic activity but forms the fabric of the Welsh rural community.

The industry is described as a network of homes, each dependent on the other, underscoring the importance of every farm and farmer in the region.

The Welsh livestock sector is seen as the backbone of the rural economy, with a significant emphasis on maintaining the critical mass of livestock and supporting the world-leading processing sector. The industry’s future hinges on collective leadership and efforts to build on the progress made over the years.

There is a strong focus on ensuring that both current and future farmers can operate profitable enterprises. This goal aligns with the broader objective of sustaining the economy and achieving positive sustainability outcomes, a key aspect of the industry’s ethos.

The new export deal to Japan represents not just an economic opportunity but also a recognition of the high standards of Welsh farming. It reinforces the importance of the industry in sustaining rural communities and contributing to the global food market.