Welsh farmers’ co-operative Celtic Pride believes the success of its premium Welsh beef and lamb products is due in part to its absence from the shelves of the major multiples.
Supplying only independent retailers and butchers with its carefully managed and fully traceable meat has created a point of difference that stores love, the company claims.
Brand-loyal customers are drawn to these outlets, which allows Celtic Pride to command a healthy price for its meat, and so a healthy return and guaranteed market.
“We have moved into independent retail and foodservice and away from major multiples because we want to control the price consumers are willing to pay,” says Nicola Raymond-Evans, Celtic Pride general manager.
Celtic Pride was set up in 2001 following the launch of the Welsh Assembly’s Red Meat Action Plan, developed to help farmers better understand the supply chain.
A one-off payment of £250 is made by every member and invested in the business, then that producer’s animals are bought, fed, slaughtered, processed, distributed and marketed through hand-picked local businesses.
The value of the premium beef project this year will exceed £3m, and any profits made by Celtic Pride will go back to the producers in the form of dividends.
There are 45 farmers on board Celtic Pride, which has a waiting list of producers who want to join.
Having converted Welsh consumers, Celtic Pride is eyeing up southern England. “We have concentrated most of our production in Wales because of distribution limitations. But it’s only a matter of time before we will be targeting much further afield.”
Greg Meenehan