The Federation of Small Businesses Cymru have joined forces with Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales and are urging Welsh shoppers to enjoy locally sourced meat this Christmas.
In the current uncertain climate for many businesses and farmers, and with the growing fears about the catastrophic consequences of a ‘no deal’ Brexit looming over the red meat industry, the importance of supporting local businesses has never been more apparent with research showing that for every pound spent locally up to 70p circulates back into the local economy.
Speaking of the importance of the whole supply chain, be they farmers all the way through to high street butchers and restaurants, Head of External Affairs at FSB Cymru, Ben Cottam said: “We appreciate this year has been difficult for small business right across Wales, and it’s more important than ever that we support local Welsh businesses through these turbulent times, especially bearing in mind the adverse impact a ‘no deal’ Brexit may have on our farmers.
“We can be rightly proud of the quality lamb, beef and pork that our farmers produce and it’s no secret that our standards are up there with the highest in the world. We recently urged the Welsh public to support small firms at this critical time following our recent firebreak lockdown, and among our suggestions were for people to shop small and local this Christmas, to remember to visit independent restaurants and cafes and to also be supportive of the hospitality sector.
“So I would urge people to not only go out and buy locally produced food but to also visit restaurants and cafes that are serving locally sourced food and are investing back into the future of our communities.”
Also supporting the campaign to encourage people to enjoy the taste of local lamb, beef and pork locally this Christmas is Pembrokeshire-born chef Tom Simmons. Tom, who has been at the helm of Tom Simmons Tower Bridge in London since 2017 and is a former ‘Masterchef The Professionals’ quarter finalist, has recently returned to Wales and opened Thomas by Tom Simmons in Cardiff with his partner, Lois.
With a lifelong love of cooking and a deep respect and passion for nature and homegrown Welsh ingredients, Tom said: “We always pay attention to detail on the quality and taste of our food – that’s why we only use the best produce from our local suppliers and farmers. We believe that locally produced meat tastes fresher and better than produce that’s been mass produced and has travelled further to get to people’s plates.
“I know exactly which farms my butcher sources his meat from, so I trust that what we put in front of our customers is what it claims to be. I’m not only getting a quality product, I’m supporting the local economy and helping the environment by cutting down on food miles. Everyone can play their part in helping our smaller local food and drink retailers this Christmas.”
The expertise and effort of everyone across the supply chain in Wales who have worked tirelessly to ensure the continued supply of food, in difficult circumstances, is evident for all to see. This Christmas, consumers can help keep that essential sense of community alive by buying locally sourced food from their doorstep.
Rhys Llywelyn, Market Development Manager at Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales, commented: “This Christmas is a great opportunity to help give our local economy a much needed boost. The essential links in our food supply chain – our farmers, food producers and retail businesses need that extra support from consumers now, more than ever.
“Supporting your local lamb, beef and pork producers not only helps local family and farming businesses but also helps the environment through reducing the number of food miles.
“While a burst at Christmas is a step in the right direction, buying locally as often as possible would be a great New Year’s resolution for the long term. By making it the new normal way of shopping, we could then experience a tastier, fresher, sustainable and prosperous 2021 and beyond.”
So, if you’re tired of the same old turkey this Christmas why not give one of these delicious Christmas recipes a try instead? And remember to visit the Eat Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef website or social channels over the coming months as they post new videos, recipes and much more.