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Written Statement - Review of Hybu Cig Cymru / Meat Promotion Wales (HCC): Interim Report

Rebecca Evans, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food

Last November I announced that I had commissioned a formal review of Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC). HCC is the Welsh Government owned, but independently operated, agricultural levy body for the red meat sector in Wales. It promotes and markets Welsh meat products both in the UK and overseas and works to develop improved standards in the red meat agriculture sector in Wales. It does this through training, technology transfer and information provision to farmers and other industry bodies, as well as research and development.

The review commenced at the start of the year and the findings will be published in the summer. Kevin Roberts has been talking to a wide range of people in order to evaluate the role of HCC and its ability to deliver value for money for the Welsh Government and levy payers. Kevin’s review will inform decisions about whether HCC should continue its work and if so in what form. The engagement has not yet ended, there are many more people to speak to but I wanted to share with you the progress made to date.

Kevin’s initial findings are that:

  • the statutory levy should continue
  • HCC continues to be the appropriate vehicle through which appropriate statutory levies are collected and spent
  • the role of HCC in providing market development should be continued but needs refinement
  • there is a need to better coordinate industry development work with other services which are available in the market for knowledge transfer, for example Farming Connect
  • closer working and governance arrangements between HCC and the Welsh Government would benefit both organisations
  • the entire board of HCC should be more involved in the development of strategic and corporate plans. This will ensure a greater ownership of the HCC strategy by the board. This in turn will allow each board member to fulfil more effectively the important role of leading the work of HCC and communicating with the wider industry
  • in respect of its accountability to the industry, HCC should undertake more effective engagement with levy payers and this responsibility should extend to all board members.

I would like to thank Kevin Roberts for the work he has undertaken to date and to thank all those who have contributed thus far to the review.