Members of the NFU Cymru Livestock Board have visited Castell Howell Foods to learn more about Wales’ leading independent food service wholesaler.

The board met with Martin Jones, one of the directors of the business, who gave an outline of the journey Castell Howell has taken to get where they are today.

From a small rural farm beginnings in Carmarthenshire in 1988, Castell Howell Foods is this year celebrating 35 years of business. Each year, Castell Howell invests millions of pounds on regional produce and services from Welsh suppliers and manufacturers, thus assisting in providing a platform for their products to reach the market.

Martin said: “We are one family in one community with one mission – to deliver high quality food and educate along the way.”

The board heard from Tim Rowe about Castell Howell’s Celtic Pride Beef which also carries the prestigious Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. This label authenticates the brand and underlines the integrity of the farming practices, whole chain traceability and quality assurance management.

He also explained about their Beef Q project where Celtica Foods Ltd (the home of Celtic Pride) is a key partner along with a collaboration of six organisations.

The Beef Q project aims to improve the eating, consistency and value of Welsh Beef production through the testing and demonstration of an enhanced carcase quality grading system. This system enables predictions of beef carcase, eating quality and guides the introduction of new carcase data feedback, benchmarking and decision-support systems to the Welsh Beef supply chain, aimed at their beef supplier farmers.

Rob Lewis, NFU Cymru Livestock Board chair said: “I’d like to thank Castell Howell for allowing us to visit and for the enlightening depot and butchery tour. It was excellent to hear about the ongoing work they are doing to continue to provide quality, nutritious food whilst reducing their carbon footprint.

“A top-class example of a food business in rural Wales, where delivering top quality Welsh food to the service sector is at the heart of their business model.”