WALES' rugby players weren’t the only team aiming to get the better of the competition in France earlier this month.

While George North inspired Wales to a second-half comeback victory against Les Bleus in Paris, his compatriots from the red meat industry headed to France’s second city – Lyon – to win over influential industry buyers, hoteliers and chefs.

Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) led a delegation of Welsh exporters to SIRHA, the world hospitality and foodservice tradeshow, offering samples of PGI Welsh Lamb and PGI Welsh Beef and engaging with current and prospective customers.

Around 200,000 food trade professionals from Europe, the Middle East and beyond visit the event in Lyon every other year.

Rhys Llywelyn, HCC’s market development manager, said that the show was an ideal venue to target important customers.

“SIRHA is a trade show which attracts foodservice buyers from both Europe and the wider world,” he said.

“The current political uncertainty means that we have to reassure existing Welsh lamb and Welsh beef consumers in EU countries, while also raising Wales’ profile in new markets, so Lyon was an ideal place for us to be.”

Mr Llywelyn added: “As ever, the product went down very well with the hundreds of prospective customers who tasted it, and we’ll be working with Welsh exporters to build on the contacts we made at SIRHA.”