A North Wales bakery has launched a new campaign to promote the use of Welsh lamb and beef.
The Wrexham-based Village Bakery has secured accreditation to label their popular pies and slices as being made with Welsh meat which has Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status.
The family have now teamed up with Meat Promotion Wales and one of the shops they supply to unveil the new drive to emphasise the quality and value of their ingredients.
The campaign was launched at the Nisa Local store in Corwen which is run by Merle and Andrew Westbury who are big fans of the Village Bakery products.
Merle said: “Things are going really well. We did our homework before we opened. Around 12,000 cars pass the store every day and that makes a big difference.
“The Village Bakery products are very popular with our customers and we have a very good relationship with them.
“The fact that they use Welsh lamb and beef in their pies is good for the farmers.
“Like us, the Village Bakery are a family-run company so we have a lot in common. “The whole family work here, my husband, my two sons and my daughter. Things are going really well.”
The Village Bakery pioneered the idea of local sourcing two decades ago and they only use Welsh beef and lamb in their products.
They buy all their meat from Conwy Valley Meats, in Llanrwst, and it can be traced back to individual farms where it was reared.
Managing Director Robin Jones said: “We wanted to launch the campaign with Merle and Andrew at Nisa Local in Corwen because they are great customers of ours and they have a terrific business.
“We’re grateful to them for helping us launch this campaign and we’re also working with Meat Promotion Wales.
“We’re paying a premium for the lamb and beef that we buy because it’s a great product and has excellent provenance.
“We were well ahead of the curve when Dad introduced our local sourcing policing 20 years ago.
“Quite rightly these days everybody wants to know where their ingredients come from and now the labels on our packs makes it immediately clear to customers
“We’re the only producer of size and scale in Wales to use Welsh beef and Welsh lamb in its entirety. It’s a 100 per cent Welsh, and it’s great stuff.
“We’ve been buying off Conwy Valley Meats for 15 years now continuously and which means I know exactly where our Welsh beef and lamb comes from.
“We can trace it back to the individual farms and that’s a great comfort to our consumers.
“It’s also great news for the North Wales economy because we are buying local which helps the farmers. It means that the North Wales pound stays in North Wales.
“Everything is reared in the area, it’s sold in the area and the supply chain from field to fork is within a 50 or 60 mile radius.”
Being at the launch was a proud moment for the Village Bakery’s pie room Manager, Kerry Wilson.
He said: “The secret of making a really great pie or slice is very straightforward, it’s all about what you put in it.
“Welsh lamb and beef are the best and it’s great to used locally sourced meat.
“Our latest product, the lamb slice, is proving hugely popular and it’s flying off the shelves. “Even though I say it myself it is delicious, it’s like a roast dinner in pastry.”
According to Meat Promotion Wales, having PGI status was of enormous economic importance to the Welsh red meat industry, as it identified the origin and unique qualities of both Welsh lamb and beef.
Their UK Market Development Executive, Emily Davies, said: “The PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef brands are highly respected and give added value to retail products at home and abroad.
“It’s great to see a local company using this sought-after designation to give consumers reassurance that the meat used in their products is fully traceable from farm to fork, and reared by Welsh farmers to high standards of animal welfare and environmental sustainability.”
PHOTO: Pictured (L/R) are Chris Clarke, Robin Jones MD, Kerry Wilson Pie Manager and Ian Roberts from Village Bakery with Merle and Andrew Westbury from Nisa Local, Corwen. Picture Mandy Jones