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Stackyard News Jan 05
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Stage Set for Beef 2005 in Wales

Plans are well advanced for the UK's national beef event, Beef Expo 2005, to be held at Builth Wells, Powys, Wales, on Wednesday, June 8.

Seven mainline sponsors have already been confirmed and application forms have been despatched this week to the 150 commercial and educational organisations who have expressed interest in reserving trade stand space.

This annual event, now firmly established as the top specialist technical event for Britain's beef farmers, is organised by the National Beef Association and is being held in Wales for the first time, although a similar event was held in Wales by the NBA's predecessor organisation in 1997. It is expected to attract a large attendance of beef farmers from throughout the UK and Ireland, as well as overseas.

Venue for the event is the Royal Welsh Showground, home of the Royal Welsh Show each July and the Welsh Winter Fair in November, and local support is being provided by the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society, ADAS, the Welsh meat promotional organisation, HCC, and a hard-working committee of livestock farmers from all parts of Wales.

"This year's Beef Expo is attracting tremendous interest and support and will be the most comprehensive specialist event for beef producers ever held in Wales," said Robin Gibson Watt, chairman of the organising committee and a board member of the RWAS.

"The beef industry is at a cross-roads following the decoupling of subsidies from production and Beef Expo will provide beef producers with the ideal opportunity to glean all the latest technical and marketing information to meet the challenges which lie ahead.

"Trading opportunities are opening up again for British beef producers with the easing of export restrictions and Beef Expo will provide the springboard to get British - and Welsh - beef back on the world stage."

Mr Gibson Watt said the organisers were grateful for the support being demonstrated for the event by the beef industry in Wales, and throughout the UK, and the committee was determined to make the event a memorable one for the thousands of beef farmers expected to attend.

"Beef Expo is, of course, a national event but it will provide the opportunity to promote the Welsh beef industry, and the Welsh beef brand, to a large and influential audience," Mr Gibson Watt added.

Features of Beef Expo will include an innovative show of suckler cows and calves, breed society exhibits, stockjudging competitions, machinery demonstrations, seminars and trade stands.

Following the format of previous beef events, in Northumberland in 2002 and Scotland in 2003 and 2004, the day before Beef 2005, Tuesday, June 7, will provide the opportunity for delegates to visit three leading Powys beef farms, followed by a conference with a panel of international speakers and a pre-event dinner, which last year attracted 850 guests.

The full programme of events is currently being finalised and details will be announced as confirmed.

Last year's Beef 2004 at the Royal Highland Showground, Ingliston, near Edinburgh, attracted an estimated 6000 visitors, including delegates from 32 countries.

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