Catherine Smith announced new chair of Hybu Cig Cymru

Catherine Smith is from a farming family and has worked in the food sector for twenty years
Catherine Smith is from a farming family and has worked in the food sector for twenty years

The Welsh government has elected Catherine Smith as the new chair of Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales.

Catherine Smith, a board member of HCC since 2017, will take over from incumbent chair Kevin Roberts on 1 April 2021.

She is a food business consultant with more than 20 years experience in the red meat sector in procurement, processing and manufacturing.

Ms Smith, who has a farming background, lives with her husband and three children on a mixed farm in Monmouthshire.

She will be the first woman to take on the role since the formation of HCC in 2003.

Her appointment comes at a particularly difficult time, with the red meat sector responding both to the challenges posed by the pandemic and Brexit.

The appointment was announced by Lesley Griffiths, the Welsh government's Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs.

“Catherine brings a wealth of experience to the role, having worked within the red meat supply chain for two decades and served as a board member since 2017," Ms Griffiths said.

“I am very pleased to be able to announce Catherine as the incoming Chair, particularly given she will be the first woman to come into the role.

"I hope her appointment reflects wider trends in business across Wales, especially within the agricultural sector."

Ms Smith's current role on the Board of HCC include chairing of the Flock and Herd Health and Welfare Working Group and serving on the Audit and Communications committees.

She said her next priority would be to deliver for HCC's levy payers - farmers and red meat processors.

"This will mean building our red meat brands using inventive and effective marketing, helping our industry to be as profitable as possible, and aiming to lead the world in terms of quality and sustainability.

“HCC has responded to the challenges of EU transition and the Covid-19 pandemic with flexibility, determination and innovation," Ms Smith said.